To the Editor,
I want to thank The Misc for their coverage of the lawsuit recently filed against Vassar and address the community about this concern.
The faculty members who made these claims are highly valued members of our community and integral to the quality of education at Vassar. I am grateful for their ongoing commitment and dedication to the students and to their education and research activities.
The matters raised by the lawsuit are important. Vassar has always been committed to gender equality and seeks to promote equity in all that it does. Given our shared values, I imagine that these claims can be unsettling and leave many people in the community feeling confused, angry or hurt.
The faculty members who brought this lawsuit have a different understanding of the relevant facts and law that is at issue in this dispute. Annual faculty salary increases are guided by a faculty-led peer-review process as described in Vassar’s Governance (see Pp. 45-46) and the Faculty Handbook (starting at P. 105). The parties have been trying for several years to resolve these differences, and now some faculty have chosen to have their view adjudicated in a court of law. That is their right, and I respect that.
While the claim alleges an important disagreement, I believe that the faculty, administration and Board are committed to our shared mission of providing the highest quality liberal arts education in a diverse and inclusive setting.
The process to carefully resolve this dispute may take time, and Vassar cannot discuss the matter in any depth due to pending litigation. I believe we are a community that can disagree and still work together on our shared mission. We have much in common, and together, we provide a remarkable experience for students, faculty, administrators and staff.
Please reach out if you wish to talk more about how best to hold our learning community together and advance our educational and research efforts during this time. I look forward to diligently working with all parties to reach a fair and thorough resolution in due course.
Elizabeth H. Bradley, President