UAlbany professor charging sex discrimination settles lawsuit

Posted at: 07/29/2013 4:47 PM
Updated at: 07/29/2013 5:49 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - The lawsuit that University at Albany Associate Professor Louise-Anne McNutt brought against Dean Phillip Nasca and the State University was just about to begin Monday.

McNutt charted salaries in the School of Public Health from 2007, when men made more but there was a variation between the two sexes and 2009, when the female director was top paid, but then 11 men were paid more than McNutt as the top paid of 13 women.

"I think societies move like large ships and you have to keep working on turning the wheel to get it in the right direction," McNutt said.

If the case had gone before a jury, they would have also seen testimony to indicate women professors in the UAlbany School of Public Health received just 20 percent of the discretionary salary increases as their male colleagues. For every dollar a man got in discretionary pay raise, the woman he worked beside got 20 cents.

"They tend to give better raises to men than women for whatever reason," said Jonathan Johnsen, McNutt's attorney. "I think it's probably an unconscious bias."

McNutt remains on track to become a full professor, but moves to the Institute for Health and the Environment. She gets a $10,000 raise added to her base pay plus $150,000 as a lump sum and to cover other costs.

A UAlbany spokesman said they don't comment on litigation or personnel matters. So we don't know whether conditions that permitted the apparent sexual discrimination have been changed at the university.