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August 28, 1997

Judge refuses to dismiss suit

A federal judge has refused to dismiss former law professor Candice Hoke's sex discrimination claim against Pitt.

U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose ruled July 31 that there was "sufficient evidence" to doubt the University's argument that Hoke's teaching and research weren't good enough to justify awarding her tenure.

Hoke's lawsuit, filed in 1995 in Pittsburgh's federal court, alleges that her performance and qualifications were equal to, or better than, those of men who received tenure. Hoke, currently a tenured associate professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, is seeking reinstatement at Pitt's law school, compensation for lost pay and punitive damages.

Besides refusing Pitt's request to dismiss Hoke's suit, Ambrose refused the University's request to dismiss her claim for fraud. Ambrose found that Pitt failed to give Hoke a complete copy of her personnel file on two separate occasions.

However, the judge did dismiss Hoke's claims for retaliation, defamation and breach of contract.

In 1992, Pitt law professors voted 12-0 to endorse Hoke's tenure bid, but then-Provost Donald Henderson overruled the vote. Some law faculty and students held campus rallies to protest Henderson's decision.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 30 Issue 1

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