The UO Senate opposes any further efforts by the UO Administration to limit the availability of the Equal Pay Act’s protections in professional settings

Date of Notice:
Current Status:
Postponed Indefinitely


Bill Harbaugh (CAS - Soc Sci, Economics, Senator); Beatrice Dorhn (School of Law); Avinnash Tiwari (CAS - Humanities, English); Josh Razink (Career Research Senator, CAMCOR); Jay Butler (Staff Senator); Dare Baldwin (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Gina Psaki (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Jason Silveira (School of Music & Dance, Senator); Pedro Garcia-Caro (CAS - Humanties, Romance Languages); David Wacks (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Gina Hermann (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Jennifer Presto (CAS - Humanities, Comp Lit); Deborah Green (CAS - Humanities, Religious Studies); Maram Epstein (CAS - Humanities, East Asian Languages & Literatures); Kate Thornhill (UO Libraries); Juanita Devereaux (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Robert Davis (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Gabriele Hayden (UO Libraries, Senator); Dave Fowler (UO Libraries); Franny Gaede (UO Libraries); Mary Grenci (UO Libraries); Elizabeth Peterson (UO Libraries); Kristy Bryant-Berg (CAS - Humanities, Engliish, Senator); Elizabeth Wheeler (CAS - Humanities, English); Amalia Gladhart (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Courtney Thorsson (CAS - Humanities, English); Annie Zeidman-Karpnski (UO Libraries); Jenna Travers (ASUO Senator); Juliia Lesage (CAS - Humanities, English Emerita); Mary Grenci (UO Libraries); Sarah Adam-Schoen (School of Law); Ellen Herman (CAS - Soc Sci, History); John Bonine (School of Law); Susan Gary (School of Law, Emerita); Michelle McKinley (School of Law); Merle Weiner (School of Law); Kristen Bell (School of Law); Lynn Stephen (CAS - Soc Sci, Anthropology); Margarent Sereno (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Lou Moses (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Paul Slovic (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Jenny Ellis (Lundquist College of Business); Debra Merskin (School of Journalism & Communication); Lamia Karim (CAS - Soc Sci, Anthropology); Autumn Shafer (School of Journalism & Communication, Senator); CJ Pascoe (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Allen Malony (CAS - Nat Sci, Computer & Information Science); Tina Boscha (CAS - Humanities, English); Dan Tichenor (CAS - Soc Sci, Political Science); Alison Gash (CAS - Soc Sci, Political Science); Rebecca Dinwoodie Flynn (Wayne Morse Center); Jocelyn Hollander (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Roberta Mann (School of Law); Ellen Scott (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Eliizabeth Tippett (School of Law); Nathan Whalen (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Edward Davis (Earth Sciences, MNCH, Senator); Colin Koopman (CAS - Humanities, Philosophy); Holly Arrow (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Paul Dassonville (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Dominick Vetri, (School of Law, Emeritus); Priscilla Yamin (CAS - Soc Sci, Political Science); Michael Dreiling (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Kara Clevinger (CAS - Humanities, English); Kata Bahnsen-Reinhardt (CRES); Jessica Vasquez-Tokos (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Erin Beck (CAS - Soc Sci, Political Science); Mike Urbancic (CAS - Soc Sci, Economics); Madonna Moss (CAS - Soc Sci, Anthropology); Mary Jaeger (CAS - Humanities, Classics); Joanna Goode (College of Education); Kristin Yarris (CAS - Soc Sci, Global Studies); Marie Vitulli (CAS - Nat Sci, Mathematics, Emerita); Amanda Powell (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Sara Hodges (CAS - Nat Sci, Psychology); Jeff Todahl (College of Education); Marc Vanscheeuwjck (School of Music & Dance); Kristin Buxton (UO Libraries); Gordon Lafer (LERC); Ibrahim Gassama (School of Law); Michael Fakhri (School of Law); Kair Marie Norgaard (CAS - Soc Sci, Sociology); Fabienne Moore (CAS - Humanities, Romance Languages); Leah Middlebrook (CAS - Humanities, Compartive Literature and Romance Languages); Gyoung-Ah Lee (CAS - Social Sciences, Anthropology); Beata Stawarska (CAS - Humanities, Philosophy); Carol Silverman (CAS - Social Sciences, Anthropology); Janis Weeks (CAS - Nat Sci, Biology, Emerita); Julie Wiese (CAS - Soc Sci, History); Annika Mayne (ASUO Senator)



This resolution by the University of Oregon Senate states the Senate’s support for the outcome of the March 15th 2021 judgment of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which required a trial on the issue of whether UO Professor of Psychology Emerit Jennifer Freyd is entitled to relief under Equal Pay Act, and it states the Senate’s opposition to the Administration seeking to establish a precedent that would limit faculty and other professionals from redress of pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act by requesting review at the US Supreme Court. 

Background links: 9th Circuit Opinion here. Video of oral arguments here. AAUP Amicus brief etc here. COACHE study of gender bias in retention raises here

Section I

1.1 Whereas: Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd has brought a case against the University of Oregon alleging that she is paid substantially less than male colleagues in the Psychology Department who hold the same full professor position, have less seniority, and are no more accomplished. 

1.2 Whereas: The University took the position that the case should be dismissed without a trial to weigh the evidence, arguing that the Equal Pay Act’s requirement of nondiscrimination does not apply to professors of the same rank and seniority, because their jobs are not similar enough, and also arguing that gender differences in pay caused by the way it handles retention raises are necessary to “retain talent,” and that it would be too expensive to take account of retention raises and pay equitable salaries to all faculty.

1.3 Whereas: The initial court decision dismissed the suit, holding that the Equal Pay Act does not apply to university professors, Professor Freyd appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Forty-seven civil rights groups and the AAUP filed briefs in support, detailing the broad injury the University Administration’s position would cause to pay equity if professors (and by extension most other professionals) were foreclosed from making a factual case of entitlement to equal pay and having a jury weight the individual facts. 

1.4 Whereas: On March 15, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the UO’s argument “would gut the Equal Pay Act for all but the most perfunctory of tasks” and ruled that university professors should not, as a matter of law, be excluded from the protection of the Equal Pay Act; and that Professor Freyd should have the chance to present her case in court.  

1.5 Whereas: The University’s request for hearing by the full 9th Circuit was denied on April 23, 2021. The Administration previously announced that it would consider seeking review by the US Supreme Court in this event. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, should the effort to gain further review of the 9th Circuit decision be successful, the University of Oregon’s name, reputation, and brand will be forever associated with a position on the wrong side of history. 

Section II

2.1 Therefore be it moved that: The University Senate declares its belief that university professors should not be excluded from the protection of the Equal Pay Act, and in particular that if women professors believe that the policies and procedures followed by any university have resulted in them receiving lower pay for equal work, they should have the right to present their case in a court of law and to challenge policies and procedures that result in inequitable pay. 

2.2 Be it also moved that: The University Senate rejects the suggestion that it is a legitimate “business necessity” to engage in practices with discriminatory results, as the university has argued in this case with respect to retention raises. 

2.3 Be it finally moved that: The University of Oregon Senate asks the University President to direct its counsel not to seek further review, and the senate wants all to know that the University of Oregon Administration’s and its attorney’s efforts to create a legal precedent that would prevent faculty and other professionals from using the Equal Pay Act to sue for redress of discrimination are not done in our name.


Motion History

  • Notice Given

  • Postponed Indefinitely

    Motion withdrawn by sponsors