Hunter v. Rowan University, No. 07-2300 (3d Cir., November 12, 2008) – Plaintiff was employed by Rowan University as an administrative assistant for approximately five years but was transferred to a different department after she received successive unsatisfactory performance evaluations under a new Dean.  Plaintiff was eventually terminated.  Several months prior to the end of Plaintiff’s tenure at the University, a Hispanic woman was hired for the administrative assistant position that Plaintiff previously held.  Thereafter, Plaintiff filed several discrimination claims (including an allegation of reverse racial discrimination).

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims, noting that the following  “evidence” Plaintiff presented was speculative and insufficient: 1) the Engineering Department’s staff was exclusively white and a new Dean would want to diversify; 2) the individuals who made the final decision not to renew her contract were themselves minorities; and, 3) the University employed its affirmative action guidelines in making its decision to hire the Hispanic administrative assistant.

Note: This article was published in the December 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

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