ASU Discrimination Case

Written by Colin Lecher Category: Valley News Issue: September 2011
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In the article and during court hearings, Theresa Cameron, a tenured professor in ASU’s College of Design, alleged that she had been discriminated against by faculty, in particular ASU President Michael Crow, when she was fired in June 2008 despite recommendations from a university committee that she keep her job. On the witness stand, however, Cameron admitted she could not personally point to any evidence that showed Crow had discriminated against her.

In May, the court entered “judgment as a matter of law” on behalf of ASU, meaning ASU lawyers asked the jury to decide if Cameron’s legal team had presented sufficient evidence of racial discrimination. The jury deliberated and dismissed Cameron’s claims. Allegations of gender discrimination, disability discrimination and denial of due process were also dismissed by the court earlier in the trial process.

In a June letter to PHOENIX magazine, ASU Senior Vice President and General Counsel José Cardenas wrote, “That judicial action speaks to the absence of evidence that any employment decision of the University was based on intentional discrimination.”  

Daniel Bonnett, an attorney for Cameron, says his client is continuing to appeal her original firing from ASU, as well as the court’s ruling against her in the discrimination case.