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White prof suing historically black university for discrimination

73-year-old makes less than younger professors

A professor is suing a historically black university over claims of discrimination, stating that he makes significantly less than younger full-time professors.

Marshall Burns, a physics professor at Tuskegee University in Alabama, “contends his salary is 30 to 50 percent lower than that of Tuskegee’s younger professors despite his more than four decades of tenure at the private university,” The Daily Beast reports.

The Beast states that Burns is “suing the historically black college for what he says is age and racial discrimination.” It is unclear what kind of racial discrimination claims Burns is asserting in the lawsuit, a copy of which was not immediately available. The Beast reports that Burns said he had never “felt any racial discrimination on campus” but that “something has to be going on, to be totally ignored on this issue” of salary.

In his lawsuit Burns reportedly states that, thirty years ago, his “level of scholarship, and his white race…helped Tuskegee University succeed in obtaining additional funding from more conservative legislators.” The Beast reports that Burns claims the school “discriminated against [him] due to his age by continually denying justified requests for salary adjustments and by paying [him] less than younger, less qualified professors.”

From the report:

Despite Burns’ purported accomplishments—and 12 verbal and written requests for a raise—the scholar’s current salary of $60,500 is equivalent to associate professor salaries, and younger full professors are making between $78,000 and $90,000, his lawsuit alleges. He initially filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in November 2018…

“Notwithstanding Dr. Burns’ significant contributions to Tuskegee University, and his stellar help in getting it more money, Tuskegee has ungratefully kept [Burns] at an associate level of pay for his entire academic career,” the complaint claims.

Burns has asked “for a jury trial and requests unspecified back pay for unpaid wages, damages, and attorney’s fees.”

Read the report here.

MORE: Historically black college must pay white prof nearly $5 million for racial discrimination

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