In 2010, Dr Rachel Tudor was recommended for tenure by her colleagues at Southeastern Oklahoma State down in Durant. The administration, she said, responded by “contact[ing] legal counsel to find out if they were required to honor the recommendation of the faculty committee.” Somebody there didn’t like her.
In the spring of 2011, Tudor won the Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Excellence in Scholarship, after which she was sent packing. It took a while for things to start happening, but they did:
After four years of getting nowhere — she’s currently teaching at a community college in north Texas — the Department of Justice has stepped in, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, charging the school and the State Regents with discrimination on the basis of sex.
On Monday, an eight-person jury voted in favor of Tudor on three counts: that she was “denied tenure in 2009-10 because of her gender,” that she was denied “the opportunity to apply for tenure in the 2010-11 cycle … because of her gender” and that the university retaliated against her after she complained about workplace discrimination. The jury then awarded her $1.165 million in damages.
Said a member of Tudor’s legal team:
Brittany Novotny, a member of Tudor’s local counsel trial team and herself a transgender woman, said the case is the first of its kind.
“This is the first one of these Title VII civil rights cases for a trans person based on sex discrimination to go to a jury trial,” Novotny told NBC News. “It is a pretty exciting day and a pretty big moment.”
I remember Brittany Novotny: she ran for a seat in the state House in 2010. Unfortunately, the seat was District 84, arguably the least trans-friendly zone in the state, occupied then by Sally Kern and before that Bill Graves. Eventually she moved out of the area, though she’s kept several ties to the state and she’s wearing a Russell Westbrook jersey on her Twitter profile page.
And the timing couldn’t have been much better: Monday was this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance.