Recently, the Kentucky Court of Appeals reinstated a gender discrimination case that had previously been dismissed by a lower court judge without trial.
The case involved a situation at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Business back in the early 2000s, where a female assistant professor sought to gain a promotion with tenure. Andrea Weickgenannt began as an accounting instructor at the university, before becoming a tenure-track assistant professor two years later. At the time, she was supposedly hired due to her valuable practical experience, which included employment at a major accounting firm and doing independent consulting, as opposed to her scholarship. Weickgenannt did not have a Ph.D.
The university’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee recommended promotion with tenure, finding that the articles Weickgenannt had penned for scholarship were sufficient to meet the guidelines. Yet the dean and provost did not agree, finding that Weickgenannt’s scholarship work was not up to standard. After an unsuccessful appeal within the university structure, Weickgenannt then sued the university for gender discrimination. In doing so, she identified a male colleague in the Management Department who had been promoted with tenure the previous year, who had the same amount of peer-reviewed, co-authored articles as she did. Nonetheless, the lower court dismissed her claim.