Indian-origin professor sues US college for racial discrimination
New York, Mar 9 (PTI) An Indian-origin associate professor at the Wellesley School of Business in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit alleging racial and gender discrimination, a media report said.
Lakshmi Balachandra, an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, said she lost career opportunities, suffered financial losses, emotional distress and harm to her reputation because of misconduct and administrators’ failure to investigate her concerns, The Boston Globe reported on February 27.
Balachandra joined Babson’s faculty in 2012 and assumed tenure in 2019.
In her lawsuit, she called Andrew Corbett, a professor and former chair of the college’s entrepreneurship department, “the primary direct perpetrator of a discriminatory work environment.”
According to a complaint filed on February 27 in US District Court in Boston, Balachandra alleged that Corbett, who oversaw teaching assignments, class planning and annual reviews, allowed her to teach only required courses in the field of entrepreneurship despite her request to teach elective courses. He previously taught such classes at MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School.
“Bobson favors white and male teachers and predominantly reserves awards and privileges for them,” Balachander’s complaint states.
According to the complaint, despite his research record, interest and service to the college, he was denied several leadership positions and denied opportunities for more time to research and write.
“Such benefits are routinely offered to white male faculty in the entrepreneurship department,” the complaint states.
Balachander’s lawyer, Monica Shaw, has also accused the professor of discrimination before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
Meanwhile, Babson College has responded that it takes concerns or complaints seriously and has well-established protocols and resources to thoroughly investigate and address them.
“The College is home to a diverse global community where equality and inclusion are valued and incorporated into every aspect of campus, and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated,” Babson was quoted as saying by a College spokesperson.
Balachandra, who is currently on leave for a fellowship at the National Science Foundation, is seeking unspecified compensation, the report added.