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
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