Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The discrimination lawsuit: Mathur's "unauthorized baseball diamond" yarn

OK, I just got home, and it’s been a long day, so I can only give a very brief report on the first day of the “Mora v. Mathur” discrimination trial up in the Federal Court Building in LA.

Back in 2001, Aracely Mora, a Latina, was the Director of the Athletics Program at Irvine Valley College and had served for about a year as IVC's interim dean of PE & Athletics. She had received only excellent evaluations and had established a state- and even nationwide reputation in her field.

So she applied for the new Dean job that opened up at Irvine Valley College. In the end, she was among the three finalists sent up by the hiring committee for interview by IVC President, Raghu P. Mathur.

She didn’t get the job. The man who did get the job, a white male from Virginia named Rodney Poindexter (I kid you not), was completely unqualified, and he turned out to be both incompetent and unstable.

What's more, according to Cely’s lawyer, Carol Sobel, he created a hostile work environment for the female faculty and other female workers. The women were given terrible teaching assignments and endured various other problems. Somehow, for the male instructors, these difficulties did not arise.

At one point, Poindexter was observed screaming at a female secretary, pinning her to a wall.

When complaints were lodged about Poindexter's frightening behavior—at first informally, later formally—Mathur did nothing about it. Poindexter continued in his job for about a year.

Even before the hiring process, Cely had been told by friends, including administrators, that she had no chance of being selected as dean. She was, after all, a woman, and Mathur didn’t hire women.

Well, to make a long story short, the jury trial started today. The morning was devoted to selecting a jury. In the afternoon, Cely’s former dean, Greg Bishopp, testified. Tomorrow, members of the 2001 search committee will be called to the stand. The case will continue through Thursday and will resume next Tuesday. It should be over by the middle of next week.

Before the trial is over, we’ll hear some mighty juicy factoids. Even today, things got interesting. Mathur is now claiming that he decided against Cely because she had pursued the construction of a baseball diamond behind his back.

Yeah, but it certainly appears that Mora did no such thing. As Bishopp's testimony today made clear, Mathur was involved in the project from the very beginning.

Well, I’ve gotta go. I’ll report back ASAP.

See also Mathur and women


Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting Mathur is lying, Chunk?

Anonymous said...

Mathur wouldn't lie or otherwise distory the truth, no would he?

He certainly wouldn't do it when testifying in federal court, would he?

Anonymous said...

There should be a paper trail about the baseball proposal, minutes of meetings, etc.

This should come out in court - but others should also look into it - are you listening trustees? Ask around. Demand the facts.

Look at how much the district is spending to defend the indefensible actions of a liar and incompetent.

Anonymous said...

uh, didn't Howard Gensler - together with Mathur - pursue the construction of a HOTEL and THEATER and POND behind the backs of everyone?

Is Howard going to testify about how Cely wasn't qualified but Poindexter was?

What a hoot.

Tee hee.

Anonymous said...

how much does a team of lawyers cost the district anyway?

Anonymous said...

How much your district is spending on lawyers is public record information, and your union should find out. I promise you it'll be depressing.

--100 miles down the road

Anonymous said...

Go Cely!

What We Know

Cessa at this year's IVC's Foundation dinner where she received an award for excellence, flanked by Glenn and Betty Jo Woolett.  ...