Fired UNH professor sues university, alleges racial, gender discriminations
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 16:02
A former UNH professor who was fired last year has filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming that she was terminated from her position for strictly enforcing academic standards and was targeted for racial and gender discriminations while teaching at the school.
Roslyn Chavda brought forth the suit on Jan. 29 in an attempt to reinstate her position with the Master of Public Administration program and reimburse the cost for all lost employment benefits after she was fired. She is also seeking compensation for emotional and financial loss that she claims came as a result of the school’s decision.
According to documents at the Rockingham Superior Court, Chavda is suing the school because she was allegedly subject to discrimination because of her race and because she is a mother. In addition, Chavda alleges that the university terminated her position due to her concerns with leniency in the MPA program.
Due to her concerns with discrimination and the university’s academic shortcomings, Chavda recently provided the administration with a copy of the drawn-up lawsuit, which seeks financial reimbursement and reinstatement to her prior teaching assistant position.
“We are aware of the lawsuit filed by former professor Roslyn Chavda,” Erika Mantz, director of media relations, said in an email. “The university disagrees with her allegations that discrimination played any part in the decision to terminate her employment, and we will vigorously defend against her claims. We will address specific allegations through the judicial system and believe the university will prevail.”
According to the lawsuit, Chavda was hired as an assistant professor of political science in 2005 and began teaching in the MPA program in 2006.
Upon the completion of her first year of teaching, Chavda faced scrutiny and a scathing performance review, which she claims was largely false. After the incident, Chavda alleges, it became apparent that she was being subjected to a level of hostility that others with similar credentials were not.
She was fired in May 2012 due to poor reviews and a failure to publish peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals.
Yet she claims in the suit that the university continues to employ an untenured professor hired around the same time as she was who also hasn’t published peer-reviewed articles. The suit describes this individual as a white male.
In the suit, Chavda complained about student admission and performance, claiming that she focused her attention on performance rather than institutional income.
She also commented that students enrolled in the MPA program were often unprepared for the demands of her class and that while other faculty members catered to those individuals, she instead sought to challenge her students.
Chavda stated in the suit that her methods were often unpopular with those she considered “unprepared” to be enrolled in her course.
On ratemyprofessor.com, a website dedicated to evaluating professors’ classroom performances, Chavda received a 2.9 out of five in the rating system. Her reviews were a mix of positive and negative comments. Students who left anonymous comments said that she was unreasonable and rude and that her expectations were too high for the introductory-level political science courses she taught. Others defended Chavda, highlighting her passion and enthusiasm for teaching.
Chavda’s lawyer, Lawrence Gormley, declined to comment on the pending case when contacted last Wednesday night.