The settlement will provide up to $19,000 for eligible full-time female professors and faculty.
Syracuse University will pay $3.7 million to settle a class action filed by female faculty who claimed the school’s pay and promotion policies discriminated against women.
According to Syracuse.com, the agreement allows the university to deny any allegation of wrongdoing.
And, on Friday, the school continued to insist that its pay policies are fair, observing that it raised the pay of more than 150 women faculty members after conducting a salary evaluation. The cumulative total of the raises amounted to more than $2 million.
However, the settlement obliges to Syracuse University to increase that amount, providing all qualifying female faculty with individual settlements.
Syracuse.com reports that the lawsuit was initially filed by five women, whose ranks included assistant, associate, and full-time professor(s). The women alleged that men holding equivalent positions tended to earn more money.
Syracuse University, said the class, “systematically underrated female faculty members,” subjecting women to promotion standards that not adequately compensate their contributions.
Audie Klotz, a political science professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, told Syracuse.com and The Post-Standard that she hopes the settlement will lead to long-lasting, systemic change.
“I look forward to seeing what actions they put in place to continue to remedy the ongoing situation,” she told the media outlets. “I hope people at other universities also take note and that it validates their concerns.”
Klotz, adds The Associated Press, decided to file the lawsuit along with several colleagues after seeing the results of the 2017 survey, which gauged potential pay inequities between all of the university’s full-time faculty.
The settlement will set aside about $1.23 million in attorney fees; the five original plaintiffs will receive individual payouts of $15,000, while other female faculty will be eligible for settlement amounts ranging from $1,140 to $19,000 per person. All female faculty who worked full-time for Syracuse University for at least one calendar year after January 8th, 2014, are eligible for compensation. Part-time faculty, adjunct professors, and other academic staff will not be able to receive any payment.
Syracuse University Steve Bennett has since released a statement reiterating that the school’s commitment to gender and pay equity.
“We continue to work closely with academic leadership to ensure salaries are commensurate with every faculty member’s job responsibilities, efforts, and accomplishments, regardless of gender,” Bennett said.
Syracuse.com notes that the agreement, while accepted both sides, must still be approved by the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn before it can take effect.