Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fresno State Discrimination Cases Lead Story

USA Today leads an article about gender discrimination in college sports with the recent cases at Fresno State University:

When Lindy Vivas and Stacy Johnson-Klein were coaching women's athletic teams at Fresno State, they questioned school administrators about what they viewed as inequities in staffing, facilities and job demands between the men's and women's athletics programs.

After they were fired — Vivas in 2004, Johnson-Klein in 2005 — they went to court, alleging sex discrimination.

Separate juries sided with the women in 2007, and awards in the cases could cost Fresno State — and by extension California taxpayers — more than $14 million, plus interest that's accruing while the university appeals. That doesn't include the more than $3.5 million the school has paid to settle with Diane Milutinovich, a former associate athletics director who had asked why she was fired for "budget reasons" in 2002 — and Fresno State's athletics department increased its budget by $2.7 million and added 17 positions over the next two years.
After exploring Title IX in general the article returns to Fresno State, discussing the impact of the discrimination and the resulting legal cases on the women, proposed legislation to bring in oversight for institutions which ignore the law, and additional gender discrimination cases at Fresno State. Milutinovich, who settled her case with Fresno State, says All we ever wanted to do is work and do our jobs.

This morning's agenda for the closed session of the CSU Board of Trustees meeting includes Johnson-Klein v. CSU, et al. and Vivas v. CSU, et al., as well as [a]n additional claim that presents a significant exposure to litigation.

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