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Female deans, University of Arizona settle gender discrimination suit

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PHOENIX — A settlement has been reached in a $2 million lawsuit that accused the University of Arizona of gender discrimination, a spokeswoman for the plaintiffs said Wednesday.

Former Deans Janice Cervelli, Patricia MacCorquodale and Joan Shaver sued the Board of Regents after they accused the school in March 2018 of paying them tens of thousands dollars less than their male colleagues.

“Plaintiffs brought this action to highlight the importance of gender equity and diverse leadership in higher education, and both parties agree and reaffirm the continuing importance of these issues,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“The parties are pleased that this matter has been mutually resolved.”

According to the lawsuit, Cervelli was underpaid by as much as $80,000 per year. It also alleged that MacCorquodale was replaced by a man who made nearly $70,000 more than she did.

The suit sought a jury trial, an adjustment to the wage rates and benefits plus back pay and other damages for lost compensation.

“Both of these outstanding female deans experienced significant pay disparities during the same period of employment,” lead attorney David Sanford in a press release when the lawsuit was filed.

“This is not a coincidence; this is how the University of Arizona discriminates against its female academic leaders.”

Chemistry professor Katrina Miranda has also sued over pay disparity. She said in December 2018 that she had been denied a raise since 2011 while her male colleagues received them.

Miranda said she had been underpaid from $9,000 to $36,000 the past two years, based on what her male colleagues were paid.

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