www.TexasBarReview.com | www.GeorgiaBarReview.com
Law professor drops lawsuit
alleging discrimination at Tech
By SEBASTIAN KITCHEN
Texas Tech law professor Daisy Floyd dropped a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit this week against the university and current and former administrators.
Floyd's attorney, Mark Perlmutter, filed for nonsuit Tuesday after Floyd was hired to be dean of the law school at Mercer University in Macon, Ga.
Perlmutter said the university never addressed Floyd's concerns alleging a pattern of discrimination, lack of integrity in hiring and promotion and intolerance of dissent.
He said there is a discrepancy between the stated and actual process in hiring and promotion and there was a lack of diversity at high positions.
Since the lawsuit, Tech has hired its first black president, M. Roy Wilson, to head the Health Sciences Center and also hired multiple female deans.
Floyd, who previously was an associate dean of the law school, filed the lawsuit and lodged complaints at the university following the search for a dean beginning in November 2001.
Tech General Counsel Pat Campbell said he thought Floyd would have dropped the case "quite a while ago."
Campbell said the university was prepared for trial, felt Floyd's claims had no merit and believed very strongly that Tech would win the case.
Floyd, who remains a law professor at Tech, claims she was discriminated against during the hiring of a law school dean and the appointment of an interim dean and believes the university retaliated when she spoke out against the process.
The suit alleges retaliation and points to derogatory comments allegedly made by former university President David Schmidly about women during the search for a law school dean.
Schmidly adamantly denied the allegations. He accepted a position in late 2002 as head of the Oklahoma State University System.
Current law school Dean Walter Huffman also was named in the suit.
Perlmutter said last spring that the suit was filed because of Tech's "utter refusal to take Daisy's claims seriously."
Floyd accepted the Mercer position last week and likely will move to Georgia this summer to assume the role as dean.
She was not actively pursuing a job but had a goal of finding a deanship after her youngest son graduates this spring, Perlmutter said.
"It works out perfectly for her," he said.