A former UTC professor is suing the state and the University of Tennessee over denial of tenure.
The Chancery Court suit filed by Dee Lisa Cothran says the denial came because of her race and gender. She is a black female.
Ms. Cothran, who now lives in Memphis, was at UTC from 2005 to 2011.
She said she received numerous awards, incuding a certificate of excellence from the UTC student organization KKINSO, the Research Associate Awarrd, an Exceptional Merit distinction within the psychology department, "and many other grants and honors.
The suit, filed by attorneys Harry Burnette and Frank Pinchak, says when she was considered for tenure, the psychology department overall voted positively "with a few exceptions."
She said she was notified by Chancellor Roger Brown on June 6, 2011, that he would not be forwarding a recommendation for tenure to the board of trustees. She was told in a letter on July 11, 2011, that "final action has been taken regarding your tenure review, and this is to inform you that you have not been awarded tenure."
Her employment was ended, and her last paycheck was July 31, 2011.
The suit says, "Plaintiff was not granted tenure because she is African American and female."