TCU Economics Department is now under investigation for the discrimination of a former professor. Photo by Marissa Stacy
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A former TCU professor has filed a lawsuit alleging she faced gender and racial bias during her time in the economics department.

Dr. Silda Nikaj, who specialized in “health economics and labor economics” according to the suit, wants her job back or compensation for the loss of her job.

“As a practice, Texas Christian University does not comment on the specifics of pending litigation. We will respond to the claims in the complaint as a part of the legal process. The university is committed to providing an academic community that values respect, diversity, equity and inclusion,” the university said in a statement regarding the suit.

A lawsuit was filed on her behalf Jan. 23, in federal court in Dallas. The suit claims that “during her employment, she faced blatant discrimination based on gender, female, and race/national origin.” 

Nikaj is of Eastern European/Albanian descent, according to the suit. 

This follows a suit filed by an unnamed student on Jan. 15, alleging physical and verbal assault. 

Nikaj was hired as a tenure-track professor in August 2012 and left in 2016. She did receive equal pay as her male peers, but according to the court documents she was required to “teach a heavier caseload.”

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a cause finding on her claims of gender discrimination based on pay,” according to the suit.

Nikaj did file two complaints with TCU’s Title IX coordinator and the chair of the Department of Economics, according to court papers. 

However, the suit detailed multiple incidents of retaliation after she complained: 

“TCU attempted to increase the research requirements she needed to complete, TCU had a different expectation of her for attendance of Faculty meetings, the Department chair created a new rule intended to make it more difficult for faculty to complain of disparate treatment/discrimination and efforts to embarrass Plaintiff by inappropriately contacting other members of the profession questioning the validity of her work.”

There was also a hate crime that occurred in her class in September of 2016, the suit said. She found swastikas drawn in her classroom, something that the suit said the department at TCU did not take seriously.