Jury finds that SFA did not discriminate against former professor

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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – A federal jury found Stephen F. Austin State University did not discriminate against a former professor based on gender after a three-day trial.

Dr. Ann Wilder, 48, accused the school of paying her less than a male teacher that was “less qualified” and then firing her when she filed a formal complaint.

She was hired by SFA in 2014 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work. She was given a five-year probationary contract. The lawsuit says that most professors are offered tenure after the completion of the five-year contract.

Wilder claimed that she was offered a starting salary of $52,000 per year and that it rose to “approximately $54,400 by March of 2018.” In August 2016, the school hired Dr. Jose Carbajal to the same position as Wilder and he was paid $58,000.

The trial was held in the Lufkin division of the Eastern District of Texas. The jury was presented testimony for 2 1/2 days.

After two hours of deliberation, the jury found that SFA did not use her sex as “a motivating factor” in paying Wilder less money than Carbajal and did not use her sex as “a motivating factor in issuing her a terminal contract.”

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