Jalal v. Columbia Univ. (S.D.N.Y. 1998): Failed Discrimination Allegation on Tenure Review Process

A Pakistani Muslim professor sued her former employer under Title VII, alleging discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin. The plaintiff argued that she was denied tenure because of her religion and race, pointing to instances in which several members of the deciding committee had allegedly articulated biases against Muslims and Pakistanis. The defendant argued that it offered the position to the most qualified applicant, who was not the plaintiff. The Court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the plaintiff did not offer any direct evidence of discrimination nor did she prove that she was more qualified than the other successful candidate (which is necessary to establish a prima facie case of discrimination in the absence of direct evidence).

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