More than two years after the start of a discrimination lawsuit, Yale has compiled an offer of proof document explaining why former School of Management Professor in Practice Constance Bagley’s contract was not renewed.
In the document, filed on Dec. 28, the University officially explained the decision not to reappoint Bagley, who sued Yale in December 2013 alleging that she had not been reappointed in May 2012 because of her gender and age. The 12-page court-ordered offer of proof, which was filed after Senior District Judge Charles Haight ordered Yale to explain specifically why Bagley’s reappointment was denied, cites both the Board of Permanent Officers’ vote against renewing her contract and 50 negative student comments for Bagley’s class “State and Society,” taught in spring 2012. Bagley has also filed suit against SOM Dean Edward Snyder, SOM Deputy Dean Andrew Metrick and professor of management Douglas Rae, with whom she co-taught the class “State and Society.” Haight’s ruling also asked Yale to provide all documents related to the reappointment of Bagley’s “comparators” — SOM professors in practice who applied for reappointment during Bagley’s time at the school.
“Yale filed the offer of proof in order to assist the judge in making a ruling regarding the pretrial exchange of documents, “ University spokesman Tom Conroy explained.
The offer of proof said the criteria for the reappointment of professors in practice are “scholarship, teaching, service to the University and need for the position.” Although a report produced by Bagley’s reappointment review committee in April 2012 recommended her renewal on the basis of the first three criteria, it did not “address the issue of continued need” for Bagley on the faculty, as that category is left to the BPO to decide on a reappointment vote, according to the document.
The offer of proof stated that the BPO met and twice voted against reappointment. In the second meeting, 16 members voted no and two voted yes. All three female BPO members present voted no and just one BPO member voted in favor of reappointment at both meetings.
The document said all BPO members acknowledged Bagley’s service to the University, but also noted that “each of the other three criteria were mentioned as reasons for the negative vote.”
“No one mentioned her gender,” the document states.
The offer of proof also lists specific reasons for the BPO members’ negative votes. These included the lack of need for the position, Bagley’s waning dedication to her class, her lack of rigor and accuracy in her scholarship, her deteriorating relationship with Rae and the dozens of negative course evaluations. Student comments also provided in the document noted her lack of familiarity with course material, frantic teaching style, disorganized lectures and excessive discussion about her experiences at Harvard and Stanford.
Conroy said the University maintains that the lawsuit is without merit.
“The decision by the School of Management not to renew Professor Bagley’s appointment was made following comprehensive review. Professor Bagley’s age and gender were irrelevant to the decision,” he said.