Weinstock v. Columbia University
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
224 F.3d 33 (2000)
Barnard College was a small, liberal-arts college for women and an affiliate of Columbia University (defendant). Pursuant to their affiliation agreement, Barnard faculty were granted tenure by the Columbia University Board of Trustees. The process required a nomination for tenure from the Barnard President. At that point, the Columbia Provost nominated an ad-hoc committee to review that nomination. If the committee recommendation for tenure is favorable, the Provost can then accept or reject that recommendation. If accepted, the recommendation is reviewed by the Columbia President and Board of Trustees. Weinstock (plaintiff) was a professor in the Chemistry Department at Barnard. She became eligible for tenure during the 1992-1993 academic year. The Barnard President nominated her for tenure, and the Provost of Columbia, Cole, convened an ad-hoc committee. The chair of the committee, Tall, contacted the other committee members prior to meeting and expressed his concerns with Weinstock’s candidacy for tenure. Two committee members complained to the Barnard President. The committee met on April 12, 1993, and none of the members stated they had been influenced by Tall’s comments. During the meeting, several members referred to Weinstock by her first name, “Shelley,” and allegedly called her “nice” and “nurturing.” The committee voted 3-2 to grant Weinstock tenure. Cole, after discussions with certain members in the Columbia Department of Chemistry, determined that Weinstock’s research and publications were not sufficient and rejected the recommendation for tenure. The Columbia President accepted Cole’s recommendation, and Weinstock’s tenure bid was denied. The following year, a male professor in the Physics Department of Barnard was granted tenure. Weinstock filed a lawsuit against Columbia, alleging she was denied tenure due to her gender. The trial court granted summary judgment to Columbia. Weinstock appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McLaughlin, J.)
Dissent (Cardamone, J.)
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