NMU settles lawsuit by female professors for $1.46M

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP/WJMN) — Attorney say four female professors who accused Northern Michigan University of discrimination based on gender have settled a lawsuit for $1.46 million.

The women said men were being paid more for teaching the same classes and were given preferences in choosing classes. They said they were retaliated against after they complained.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Claudia Hart, Carol Steinhaus, Karin Stulz and Margaret Vroman.

In a March court filing, lawyers for NMU denied any discrimination and said “neutral factors” were used in setting pay.

The university said the settlement isn’t an admission of liability.

Northern Michigan University provided the following statement for Local 3 on the settlement:

NMU is pleased to have reached a voluntary and amicable settlement with four former college of business faculty. The settlement allows the university to move ahead in the best interest of the students. NMU wishes the faculty well in their retirements.

To the extent the faculty members’ lawyer intends to imply that the settlement could be viewed as evidence of any wrongdoing by NMU, NMU would like to point out that each of the faculty members expressly agreed to the following statement: “The Parties acknowledge, represent, and agree that this Agreement is not intended to be, and shall not be construed as, an admission of fault or liability, to any extent whatsoever, by any Party.”

All NMU faculty salaries are set according to collective bargaining agreements with the faculty union.  “Northern Michigan University is committed to equity and inclusiveness, two integral components at the core of who we are as a community,” said President Fritz Erickson.

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