Okla. university must reinstate transgender professor, says federal court

Wed. September 15, 2021 10:48 AM by Gerald Farinas

southeastern oklahoma state university

photo credit // southeastern oklahoma state university

Appeals court says Dr. Rachel Tudor, Ph.D. wasn't promoted because of discrimination

Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been ordered to reinstate a professor with tenure after the school discriminated against her, according to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Co.

Dr. Rachel Tudor, Ph.D., an English language lecturer, was denied a promotion to become associate professor. She was fired in 2011.

She ended up winning a civil rights discrimination suit in 2017 and was awarded $1.1 million in damages by the court.

As the case went before the appeals court, it was determined there was enough evidence to prove that discrimination based on gender identity was present.

The three federal judges wrote in its 55-page determination, "Dr. Tudor would have been granted tenure in 2009-10 absent the discrimination."

"We are instead restoring Dr. Tudor to the position she would have been in had Southeastern not engaged in prohibited discrimination against her."

Jillian T. Weiss, attorney for Dr. Tudor, noted the historic significance of the promotion in question due to Oklahoma's history with the Native American community, of which the English teacher is a member.

"Dr. Tudor is looking forward to being the first tenured Native American professor in her department in the 100-plus year history of the Native American serving institution that is Southeastern Oklahoma State University," Weiss said.

The university has declined to comment on the case, hinting at possibly appealing the ruling.