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Professor Sues Washburn University for Retaliation

A communication studies professor at Washburn University has filed a lawsuit against the school for retaliation after she complained about sex discrimination.

Professor Leslie Reynard, who has been teaching in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences since 2007, filed the suit earlier this week, alleging university officials of seeking negative feedback from students regarding the courses that she teaches.

The retaliation started after Reynard filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2018. Afterwards, the university placed her on a performance improvement plan (PIP).

“Washburn did not factor in the data from the student evaluation system, known as the SIR-2, which rated the Plaintiff very high compared with national averages,” the lawsuit reads.

“The PIP has been used to create inordinate stress, hyper-scrutiny, and nitpicking by Washburn administrators to look for the smallest mistakes for which Plaintiff could be terminated for failing to satisfy the PIP.”

The suit also alleges that the school later relieved Reynard of her authority to oversee the enrollment of the graduate courses she taught, instead placing that responsibility with the department chair.

Reynard is now seeking $75,000 in back pay and damages for emotional pain. Meanwhile, the university has not issued a statement on the pending litigation.

In a similar lawsuit filed against the University of Richmond last month, a former administrator alleged dean Patrice Rankine of creating a hostile work environment and humiliating her on the basis of her sex.

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