MOSCOW, Idaho — This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
A former University of Idaho law professor has been awarded $750,000 in a settlement over her claims of racial and gender discrimination by two former deans. The agreement also includes proposed changes to the college’s bylaws.
U.S. District of Idaho Court Judge Lynn Winmill filed a stipulated settlement on Monday in the case brought by Shaakirrah Sanders against the university and former deans of its College of Law Mark Adams and Jerrold Long.
“The parties have agreed the best path forward is a resolution that allows an end to this litigation,” a joint statement from Sanders and the university states.
Sanders, who has since left UI for a position at Penn State Dickinson Law, filed her lawsuit in 2019 alleging that she had been discriminated against and retaliated against first by Adams then by interim dean Long, according to court documents.
“I initiated this litigation to obtain a record of, and accountability for, my experience as the first descendent of enslaved Americans to earn the rank of full professor at either the University or the law school,” Sanders said in a press release. “I sought this record on the faith of my upbringing, my education, and my law practice experience prior to joining the legal teaching academy.”
University of Idaho spokesperson Jodi Walker wrote in an emailed statement, “For the University of Idaho, this settlement is a business decision and in the best interest of our students, the university and the state of Idaho. Litigation costs money and time as well as creates the potential for ongoing distraction to employees and students. We wish Professor Sanders the best in her future endeavors.”
Adams served as dean from June 2014 to June 208 and Long from June 2018 to May 2021. Adams had been asked to step down by the provost due to concerns regarding his leadership, which included issues of racial, gender and disability discrimination, court documents state.
Adams is currently a professor at the university, according to state records on the Transparent Idaho website.
In 2022, a judge found sufficient evidence to continue the case in a trial, KTVB reported. However, the jury in October of 2022 informed the court that it was unable to agree upon a verdict. The university, Adams and Long categorically denied all allegations that they violated Sanders’ rights.
This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.
Watch more Local News:
See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist: