Former professor receives settlement for discrimination

Alexandra Torres-Perez

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DePaul will be running for Congress. Photo courtesy of Monica DePaul

The University of North Florida paid Monica DePaul $16,000 in an out-of-court settlement regarding her employment disputes with the university, after her contract was not renewed earlier this year.

DePaul was an English adjunct professor whose contract wasn’t renewed over the summer. The settlement agreement and release stated “she alleged that the University’s reasons for not offering her employment were based on discrimination, her political activity and a violation of her academic freedom rights.”

DePaul wrote an open letter in her blog to the university and Director of Writing and Assessment, Dr. Linda Howell, though she was not mentioned by name. In the letter, DePaul addresses her issues with the university’s English Department from their exploitation of adjunct professors to using inadequate textbooks and refusing to take suggestions from her.  She writes:

“You acted like you were doing me and yourself a favor by by getting rid of me, but your extreme lack of foresight and hindsight is astounding. I have been there, willing to be an active part of the UNF Writing Program time and time again, yet you have constantly ignored me. Apparently, the UNF administration feels the same way: they awarded me a $16,000 out-of-court settlement (before lawyer’s fees and taxes) due to your blunder. That’s right—UNF’s legal department is willing to recognize your actions as possible discrimination even considering the lack of job security for adjuncts.”

Along with the $16,000, DePaul also received a neutral letter of reference, verify her employment at the university and consideration her for rehire.

Around $5,300 of the $16,000 will go to lawyer fees, but the rest will go to DePaul. In return, DePaul cannot sue the university, and agrees that the law wasn’t broken when the university decided to not renew her contract.

The university declined to comment on the out-of-court settlement, saying that they don’t comment on employment disputes or settlements.

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