A Texas Christian University professor claims in a federal court lawsuit that she faced racial and gender discrimination based on pay during her time at the university.
Dr. Silda Nikaj graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a PhD in Economics. TCU hired Nikaj in August of 2012 in a tenure track position.
According to court documents, Nikaj alleges that TCU discriminated against her by paying her less than her male colleagues for equal work. Nikaj says that when she complained, the university retaliated by making her job more difficult which resulted in her constructive termination.
In September of 2016, Nikaj says that a hate crime occurred in her class. According to court documents, Nikaj says she says she was targeted on the basis of her ethnic origin and found swastikas drawn in her classroom.
Nikaj claims that TCU did not take the hate crime seriously.
Court documents also show that Nikaj filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in June 2017. She also filed two complaints with TCU's Title IX coordinator, one in November 2015 and the other in November 2016.
Nikaj says that in response to her complaints, TCU responded with outright hostility, more time-consuming teaching assignments, increased research requirements, and added metrics to her tenure requirements that benefited her male colleagues at her expense.
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Nikaj's lawsuit against TCU was filed days after a TCU student accused the university of racial discrimination.
The lawsuit was filed by a 20-year-old black honors student who claims that she was “dehumanized, harassed and discriminated against” by TCU faculty over two years.
TCU responded to the student's allegations, saying that “As a practice, Texas Christian University does not comment on the specifics of pending litigation. With respect to the historical overview provided, like many universities in the country, TCU has a complex history that we are taking an active approach to examining and understanding. Today, TCU is focused on creating a respectful and inclusive community for all students."
The university also says that the facts of the case are still under review.
"At this time, the University's main priority is to ensure our student's success and to investigate the student's complaint," TCU said. "If we discover that any of these allegations are accurate, we are committed to addressing them.”