Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Discrimination Lawsuit Against Fresno State

Fresno State University is facing yet another lawsuit over sexual harassment in its athletics program. Iris Levesque worked in the men's basketball office from 2000-2005, and contends she was let go in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, and violation of campus and NCAA rules.

She says in the complaint that she and Lopes “had a contentious working relationship due to her regular complaints of inappropriate behavior by Coach Lopes, his staff, and his student athletes. This inappropriate behavior took the form of gender and age discrimination as well as potential violations of NCAA rules and CSU, Fresno policies.”
Fresno State hit with another lawsuit - Ex-secretary says complaints about Lopes got her fired. [Fresno Bee]
Another discrimination suit against Fresno State [Indybay]

Good thing Chancellor Reed has been "working with" campus president John Welty for years to fix all this:
"All Fresno State has is its integrity. When bad things happen, you have to take decisive action to make the corrections." [...]

Reed made the statement in the tumultuous spring of 2003, after it was revealed that a former adviser conspired to improperly provide academic help to three former Fresno State basketball players.

Reed also said during the 2003 interview that he had been working closely with Welty to fix Fresno State's athletic problems for the "last three years or longer."
Welty and Reed are joined at the hip [Fresno Bee]

State Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has called for Welty's resignation, and wrote to Chancellor Reed regarding his support of Welty:
“Your continued support of President John Welty, who allowed this climate of discrimination to exist during his tenure, raises serious questions regarding both your leadership abilities as well as the values your Chancellorship instills in the California State University.”
Florez has urged the California State University Board of Trustees to take action:
On Thursday Florez pledged that, short of immediate action by Reed, he would urge the CSU Board of Trustees to convene an emergency meeting to consider the future leadership of CSU Fresno. On Friday he wrote to the Board, calling on the Trustees to remove Welty as CSUF president and revoke Reed’s authority to determine the future course of legal action regarding allegations of gender discrimination against the university.

“It is clear to me that Chancellor Reed has become too invested in the outcome of these matters and has not made decisions in the best interest of the California State University as a whole,” Florez wrote.
Florez chairs the California State Senate Select Committee on Gender Discrimination and Title IX Implementation, and has scheduled a committee hearing on "gender discrimination at Fresno State" for Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 10:30.

Senator Dean Florez Calls for Welty's Resignation from CSUF [Press Release from Senator's Office]
Select Committee on Gender Discrimination and Title IX Implementation Agenda

The recent state auditor's report showed the CSU paid out $2.82 million in 41 employment discrimination cases over five years. This year's discrimination cases against Fresno State have resulted in $27 million in awards and settlements.

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