TCU wants ex-professor’s discrimination suit dismissed

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TCU has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a former professor claiming discrimination because they “fail to meet federal pleading requirements,” according to court documents.

The motion is a response to Dr. Silda Nikaj‘s claim that TCU discriminated against her based on her race, gender and national origin. Nikaj filed suit in January. Her suit argued that while she was paid the same as her male colleagues, she had a heavier teaching load.

TCU filed a counterclaim against Nikaj for breach of contract, claiming she failed to inform the university that she had accepted a full-time position at the National Institute of Health, which prevented her from performing her obligations to teach and advise her students.

TCU’s motion was filed Feb. 26.

“As a practice, Texas Christian University does not comment on the specifics of pending litigation,” the university said in a statement. “We will continue to 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.”

TCU was sued twice in January. It has asked for and received an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Jane Doe No. 1 that claims a student was discriminated against during a trip to Washington D.C. with the John V. Roach Honors College. TCU now has until March 23 to respond.

In its response to Nikaj’s suit, TCU denied the claim and argued that her suit lacked “facts purporting to support or state a claim or discrimination or retaliation in compensation.”

TCU also denied Nikaj’s claim that she “faced blatant discrimination based on gender, female, and race/national origin” and that she faced retaliation after she complained about her treatment.

TCU said it took the hate crime that occurred in her class seriously, contrary to her claim in the lawsuit she filed.

TCU’s response said that Nikaj provides no factual basis on what classes she is referring to, when she was forced to teach more or any facts comparing the teaching loads of her colleagues.

“TCU asserted an affirmative defense that plaintiff’s claims pertaining to discrimination/retaliation based on her compensation should be dismissed for failure to state a claim,” the lawsuit said.

TCU argued that Nikaj does not provide facts about being paid unequally, what work she’s referring to or when she was paid unequally.

Attorneys for the university also argued that Nikaj did not provide facts to show an actual pay reduction or specifics of any form of adverse pay.