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Patricia Davis v SMU

Patricia Davis v SMU

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Published by: matsby6930 on Apr 10, 2013
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07/12/2013

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Original Complaint and Jury Demand
 – 
Page 1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASDALLAS DIVISION§DR. PATRICIA H. DAVIS, §§ CIV. A. NO. _______________ 
Plaintiff,
§§ JURY DEMANDEDv. §§SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, §§
Defendant.
§ORIGINAL COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
Dr. Patricia H. Davis complains of Southern Methodist University’s
violations of federallaw barring sex discrimination and retaliation for protected activity and its breach of contract.Davis claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
et seq.
, asamended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681
et seq.
, as amended,and Texas common law.
1
 INTRODUCTION
1. Southern Methodist University
(“SMU”)
retaliated against Dr. Patricia H. Davis because she reported sexual harassment, improper conduct by her male supervisor toward femalestudents and staff, and violations of university sexual-harassment policy. Davis feared reprisals but still reported this serious misconduct, acting in good faith and in what she believed was theU
niversity’s best interest
. She courageously complained to multiple university administrators
 — from her college dean, to SMU’s Title IX coordinator, and eventually to the President’s office.
1
Davis also has claims under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, T
EXAS
L
AB
.
 
C
ODE
§21.001
et seq.
, as amended, pending before the Texas Workforce Commission
 — 
Civil RightsDivision. Davis intends to add Texas Labor Code claims once the statutory period passes.
Case 3:13-cv-01419-N Document 1 Filed 04/09/13 Page 1 of 21 PageID 1
 
Original Complaint and Jury Demand
 – 
Page 2
SMU responded harshly
 — 
as Davis feared
 — 
and ultimately terminated her employment on or about September 12, 2012 because of 
her reports. SMU’s retaliation inflicted substantial harm on
Davis, and she now seeks to restore her reputation, to obtain injunctive relief, and to be madewhole.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION, AND VENUE
2. Davis is a female citizen of Richardson, Dallas County, Texas.3. SMU is a Texas nonprofit corporation that conducted business in Texas at all
times material to Davis’s claims by, among others, employing Davis and others in Texas. The
causes of action asserted below arose from and are connected to purposeful acts by SMU during
Davis’s employment in Texas. SMU may be served with process through
its registered agent,Paul J. Ward, Perkins Administration Building, 6425 Boaz, Dallas, Texas 75275.4.
This court has jurisdiction to hear the merits of Davis’s claims under 28 U.S.C. §§
1331 and 1343.5. SMU is located in Dallas, Texas, and a substantial portion of the acts and
omissions underlying Davis’s claims— 
including her unlawful termination
 — 
occurred in Dallas,Texas. Venue is proper in this district and division under 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
6. SMU is a private institution of higher education founded in 1911 in Dallas, Texas.Each year SMU enrolls 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students in seven colleges (Law,Theology, Art, Business, Education, Engineering, and Humanities and Sciences). Only 31 percent of SMU full-time-faculty was female as of 2012. Of 368 tenured faculty members, only27 percent are women. Women faculty at the highest rank (full professor) earn on average$6,500 less than their male counterparts. Women at the lowest tenure-eligible rank earn an
Case 3:13-cv-01419-N Document 1 Filed 04/09/13 Page 2 of 21 PageID 2
 
Original Complaint and Jury Demand
 – 
Page 3
average of $10,400 less than their male counterparts. None of the seven current college deans is awoman.7.
SMU’s budget was nearly $500 million
in 2011-2012. As of May 2012, itsendowment was $1.16 billion. SMU is also a recipient of millions of dollars of annual federalfunding through federally-subsidized student loans, research grants and other programs.8.
SMU was at all times relevant to Davis’s claims and is now an “employer” within
the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000-
e(b) and a “program or activity” withi
n the meaning of 28U.S.C. § 1687.9. Davis worked with SMU in various capacities for nearly 21 years, including 13years (7 with tenure) as a professor in Perkins School of Theology. Most recently she served asthe Associate Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program. The Embrey Human RightsProgram (founded as the Human Rights Education Program [HREP] in 2006) in the DedmanCollege of Humanities and Sciences, is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to the study of human-rights issues in the DFW area and around the world. Dr. Rick Halperin
(“Halperin”) isthe Program’s Director. Davis was instrumental in obtaining the original gift to create the HREP,
helped organize the Program, helped organize and was a member of the Executive Board, co-wrote the by-laws, chaired several strategic plans, designed the curriculum, and wrote successful proposals for grants and for establishing a Human Rights major for undergraduates. She wasinvolved formally or informally with the Program from its inception until her termination. In
2010, SMU appointed Davis the program’s Associate Di
rector on a part-time basis.
2
On or aboutMay 3, 2012, William M. Tsutsui
(“Tsutsui”)
,
 
Dean of the Dedman College of Humanities andSciences,
 
offered Davis a two-year contract for full-time employment as the Associate Director 
2
Davis also continued her work as the Director of the Center for Religious Leadership in thePerkins School of Theology.
Case 3:13-cv-01419-N Document 1 Filed 04/09/13 Page 3 of 21 PageID 3

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