Letter to the Editor: Professors speak on lawsuit dismissal request

To the Vassar Community:

We write to express our disappointment with Vassar’s Oct. 13, 2023, letter to Judge Cathy Seibel, in which Vassar requested that the class action gender discrimination lawsuit against the College be dismissed. To be clear, the lawsuit is still pending and has the full support of the undersigned female faculty.

Vassar’s request is plainly inconsistent with its public statements about the lawsuit, including the Board of Trustees’ assurance to the Vassar community that “Vassar would like to resolve and will continue working to resolve this disagreement with these valued faculty members.” Vassar’s most recent attempt to silence its female faculty—while publicly claiming to support us—is regrettably consistent with the College’s decades-long failure to act on our internal calls for pay equity. We are bewildered by the fact that the College has now publicly affirmed data that demonstrates a systemic, gender-based pay gap, has further acknowledged that the “faculty salary policies and practices were designed forty years ago and would benefit from a re-examination,” and yet continues to trivialize and obscure their role in denying equitable pay for the longest-serving women on their faculty. The request to dismiss our lawsuit before it is heard is another glaring example of the current administration’s hypocrisy.

In light of these most recent actions, we again implore Vassar to bring its own practices in line with its longstanding and very public commitment to gender equity. For that to be possible, however, Vassar must start exercising the views and values that it publicly espouses.

Abigail A. Baird, Professor of Psychological Science

Pinar Batur, Professor of Sociology

Nancy Bisaha, Professor of History

Giovanna Borradori, Professor of Philosophy

Gabrielle H. Cody, Professor Emerita of Drama

Eve D’Ambra, Professor of Art

Leslie C. Dunn, Professor of English

Natalie Priebe Frank, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Rebecca Edwards, Professor of History

Rachel D. Friedman, Professor of Greek and Roman Studies

Jean M. Kane, Professor of English

Sarjit Kaur, Professor of Chemistry

Eileen Leonard, Professor Emerita of Sociology

Jenny Magnes, Professor of Physics

Seungsook Moon, Professor of Sociology

Lydia Murdoch, Professor of History

Uma Narayan, Professor Emerita of Philosophy

Molly Nesbit, Professor of Art

Laura Newman, Professor of Art

Nancy Jo Pokrywka, Professor of Biology

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Professor of Hispanic Studies

Peipei Qiu, Professor of Chinese and Japanese

Margaret L. Ronsheim, Professor of Biology

Miriam Rossi, Professor Emerita of Chemistry

Jill S. Schneiderman, Professor of Earth Science

Kathleen M. Susman, Professor of Biology

Shona Tucker, Professor of Drama

Michele M. Tugade, Professor of Psychological Science

Denise A. Walen, Professor of Drama

Jennifer E. Walter, Professor Emerita of Computer Science

Eva Woods Peiró, Professor of Hispanic Studies

Yu Zhou, Professor of Geography and Earth Science

Susan Zlotnick, Professor of English

One Comment

  1. Have the female faculty considered writing a letter to Judge Cathy Seibel, directly?

    Given the extreme pain that they are undergoing working at Vassar – it would only help the female judge to understand the working conditions that the five female faculty have undergone while performing their duties under duress and severe psychological trauma through the years.

    Ex Vassar
    Joan Delana

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