Last year, I posted the pleadings in an interesting human rights complaint filed by a Windsor law professor named Emily Carasco against the U. of Windsor, the Faculty of Law, and Professor Richard Moon, another law professor at Windsor. Professor Carasco is alleging that the decision to deny her the Law Dean position was based on unlawful discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, skin colour, and sex. The case is meandering its way through the Tribunal process.
There has been three interim decisions in the case so far. In the first, decided last fall, the Tribunal declined Carasco’s request to prevent the University from moving forward with a new Dean’s search. She argued that since the Deans are appointed for 5 years, were she to win her complaint, the Tribunal would be unable to impose the remedy she is seeking, which is installation as the Dean. The Tribunal ruled that it had power to order Carasco to be installed as Dean even if another Dean had been appointed in the interim:
The University submits, and I agree, that the appointment of a new Dean does not preclude the option of a remedial order instating the applicant to the position of Dean should the applicant succeed in her Application. It is true that the presence of an incumbent may be a factor influencing the Tribunal’s determination of whether this is an appropriate remedy, but it is too early at this stage to gauge the significance of this factor against all of the other potentially relevant considerations.
The second interim decision also released last fall removed the Faculty of Law as a party, and also granted the University authority to disclose certain documents relating to the Dean search that were otherwise considered confidential by virtue of University By-Laws.
The Third interim decision was released last week. The Tribunal declined Professor Moon’s request to be removed as an individual party. Professor Moon made plagiarism allegations against Professor Carasco towards the end of the search process, and Carasco alleges he did this because she was a woman of colour. The Tribunal refused to strike Professor Moon because the allegations against him are distinct from those against the University. In addition, the Tribunal refused to approve a series of Intervenor applications filed by: the U. of Windsor Faculty Association; a student group called “Women and the Law”; an organization called “Academic Women for Justice”. None of these parties had anything new to offer the proceedings and their inclusion would extend the cost and duration of the proceedings.
The parties have agreed to send this dispute to mediation, so we may not hear much from this case again for a while. In the meantime, given that the Tribunal has announced that it could terminate any incumbent Dean and install Professor Carasco if she wins her case, how do you think the new Dean search is going?