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A federal jury has awarded $1 million to a former University of Pennsylvania assistant professor who was denied tenure, but the university says it will ask the judge to overturn that verdict.
In September 2020, Cathrine Veikos sued Penn to, her lawsuit said, “hold Penn accountable for its intentional and willful discrimination against her because of her gender (female) and familial status (mother), and for retaliating against her when she attempted to protect her rights and salvage her career.”
The lawsuit says Veikos gave birth to a son in 2006 and “received a one-year extension of her tenure probationary period pursuant to Penn’s ‘family-friendly’ policies.” She alleged her tenure application was “sabotaged” partly because she used this option.
According to a verdict sheet provided to Inside Higher Ed by Veikos’s legal counsel, on Feb. 10, a jury answered yes to the question “Has Cathrine Veikos proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the University of Pennsylvania denied her re-review application for tenure in retaliation for her complaints of discrimination?”
The jury answered no to the five other questions, including saying she hadn’t provided enough proof that Penn had rejected her application for tenure or her application for re-review based on her gender or on her being a mother.
“The jury found for Penn on five of the six liability questions it answered,” a Penn spokesman wrote in an email Friday.
“It did find for the plaintiff on the remaining count of retaliation,” the spokesman wrote. “Penn disagrees strongly with that finding and will be asking the judge to overturn it based on the overwhelming weight of the evidence and the law applicable to the claim.”