Law Schools

Law Prof Files Suit Claiming Duquesne Discriminated in Appointment of Interim Dean


The aftershocks continue after the abrupt ouster of the popular dean of Duquesne law school more than two years ago.

The latest development: A Duquesne law professor is alleging in a lawsuit that the school discriminated against her in the appointment of an interim dean after the school told Donald Guter to resign or be fired.

Vanessa Browne-Barbour, who is black, alleges discrimination on the basis of race and sex, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. She says the Pittsburgh law school failed to consider her for the interim position in December 2008 even though she was associate law dean and more qualified than Ken Gormley, the white man who got the interim position and then the permanent deanship.

The law school denies the allegations, the story says.

Browne-Barbour is an associate law professor who teaches torts, family law, and legal research and writing, according to her law school bio. The former law dean, Donald Guter, resigned in December 2008 after being told he would be removed from the position in 24 hours if he didn’t step down. The news led to protests by students and alumni and threats to withhold donations.

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