Lynda Dodd Claims Discrimination in Denial of Early Tenure by Anthony Viola
Lynda Dodd began her career at City College ten years ago full of promise. With degrees from Princeton and Yale, the Skadden, Arps Legal Studies Program hired her to be the “Joseph H. Flom Professor of Legal Studies.” But after serving the political science community, and the college itself, in December Dodd filed a high-profile discrimination suit against CCNY in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
An article in the New York Times on March 5 reported that Dodd decided to pursue legal action after being denied early tenure. The reason, according to her suit: her disability. Dodd has multiple sclerosis, which affects the central nervous system, as well as brain function and communication.
The Times piece, by David Chen who has written a number of stories about CCNY, also noted the “unusual display” of support from renowned political scientists across the country. Chen explains that “50 political scientists who focus on law and courts wrote to Dr. Boudreau and Mr. Milliken, praising Dr. Dodd’s work and calling the tenure decision ‘a manifest injustice.’”
Dodd currently is teaching Advanced Legal Analysis for the Skadden program on Wednesday afternoons. Her students include members of the fellowship’s eighth cohort.
While many didn’t want to be quoted, several of her students shared that rumors have been swirling about their professor since last semester. According to some of them, uncertainty surrounded both Dodd’s and the college’s action plan. Some of her students thought the college planned to fire her, while others expected her to sue the Skadden, Arps law firm or City College.
Dee Mozeleski, senior advisor to the President, declined to comment on the law suit. She confirmed to The Campus that Dodd and the administration have not canceled her current course as a result of the legal action. They expect her to continue to proctor it.
One student, who asked not to be named, noted that while the case has made communication within the program “awkward,” Dodd remains an “effective teacher who clearly cares about the law and is passionate about education.”