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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Female Denver Law Prof Files EEOC Complaint Over Lowest Salary Among Tenured Professors ($109,000)

MarshLucy A. Marsh, a tenured law professor at Denver since 1982 who teaches Civil Procedure, Property, and Trusts & Estates (CV here), has filed an EEOC gender discrimination complaint against the school charging that her $109,000 is the lowest at the school and well below the $149,000 median full professor salary.

From the EEOC complaint:

Professor Marsh believes that she and other female professors at the law school were discriminated against with respect to compensation because of their gender and were paid less than men performing substantially equal work under similar conditions in the same establishment.

From the Denver Post:

"What I hope comes out of this is not just fair compensation to professor Marsh and to fix the system, but hopefully there will be lessons learned that other universities, law schools and employers can look at and say, 'This is something that we can look at, to make sure the women are not paid less for equal work,'" said Jennifer Reisch, one of Marsh’s lawyers and legal director of Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights organization.

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She doesn't seem to have published much. Say what you will about legal scholarship being a waste of time, but many professors spend a great deal of time on it and it is currently very important at a number of schools, including DU. If she isn't publishing, she should be teaching twice as much or paid half as much. In the future, I imagine many of profs will be teaching more and paid less. She should be grateful for her cushy 6-figure job.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 11, 2013 5:14:01 AM

This is an interesting issue. I doubt the law school discriminated intentionally. But women tend to get behind especially if they have kids and frequently don't catch up, it isn't a trivial issue, at all.

Posted by: michael livingston | Jul 11, 2013 6:06:30 AM

If you read the Post article (btw, anytime you read something that says "women only make $0.77 for every dollar that a man makes" without explaining that this is before incomes are normalized for hours worked, field and time spent away from the workforce, be very cautious about the writer's agenda), what's going on here is that DU Law was given a pot of money specifically to use to retain the "best" faculty. Katz decided to use it to give raises to the most productive faculty. Ann Scales wanted him to use it to address gender pay imbalance (which, again, wasn't what it was supposed to be used for). She passed away.

My guess is that the plaintiff in this lawsuit sees it as some sort of tribute to her deceased colleague.

Posted by: Another anon | Jul 11, 2013 8:53:20 AM

From the Denver Post: "What I hope comes out of this is not just fair compensation to professor Marsh and to fix the system...."

The professor just filed the complaint and the paper has already assumed an outcome. Maybe the system doesn't need fixing. Maybe the professor is getting what she earns or maybe even more!

Just because someone cries foul or acts offended, don't assume that facts are on his/her side. It's typically posturing and protesting to bully others to give a few what they want rather than what they have earned.

Posted by: Woody | Jul 11, 2013 9:48:58 AM

Lucy Marsh is the daughter of legendary DU Law Professor Tom Marsh who, legend has it, "had more degrees than a thermometer." Marsh was alternatively loved and feared but no one who had him as a professor ever forgot him. Lucy basically followed in her father's footprints, but, it should be said, no one person could ever fill Tom's shoes, even his talented daughter.

Posted by: Al Golbert | Jul 11, 2013 10:05:46 AM

Please note professional e-mail address. Thanks.

Posted by: Al Golbert | Jul 11, 2013 10:08:04 AM

She certainly has a short resume for a professor who has been teaching for over 30 years. Like it or not, scholarship is the main measure of a law professor. Under this measure, she fails miserably. I doubt she could even get tenure today. Equal pay for equal work, yes, but she hasn't done the work.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 11, 2013 6:59:16 PM