Professor suing UT over pay gap speaks outside law school


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The professor suing the University of Texas over how much she was paid, Law Professor Linda Mullenix, held a press conference outside the Law School. She sued the University on Dec. 12, accusing the UT School of Law of not following the Equal Pay Act and retaliating against her for speaking out.

“In response to raising legitimate questions about the status and compensation of women, the law school began to treat me as the problem and as a threat to the status quo,” Mullenix said in a statement Monday. “Since raising these issues, the law school has engaged in an unrelenting course of retaliatory conduct and career sabotage. This has culminated in my current dean’s efforts to force me to retire without which he refuses to provide me with the pay equity required by law.”

The lawsuit claims “one of UT Law’s most distinguished professors” was paid $134,449 less than a male colleague over the past three years. Mullenix is a tenured professor with 45 years of teaching experience and has taught at UT since 1991.

“The salary disparity between myself and my male colleagues is not trivial. The amounts are shockingly substantial,” Mullenix said. Over the past three years, I’ve been paid over $134,000 less than a male colleague who is doing exactly the same job.”

In an email, a university spokesman stated it, “strongly supports equitable pay based on merit and performance.”

UT did not grant an interview. A spokesperson told us they’ll soon respond in court.

“UT has taken efforts to ensure salary equity for faculty members across campus,” the school wrote in a statement. “Law school faculty pay is determined by a review of teaching, service, and scholarship with professional criteria applied to make these determinations.”

The school also provided links to its University Faculty Gender Equity Council page and the Faculty Gender Equity Report as further evidence of its effort to maintain equitable pay.

“This lawsuit is not about attacking my male colleagues’ salaries or their teaching or their scholarship. It is not about whether they are worth what they are paid. It is about giving women equal pay for equal work,” Mullenix said.

Specifically in the lawsuit, she claims she has the same job but gets paid way less than Professor Robert Bone. According to the lawsuit he made $383,000 dollars this past year. Professor Linda Mullenix made $337,000.

Professor Mullenix tells me she’s tried for years to negotiate for more money. She’s even filed suit before to get more.

“Three decades I have repeatedly attempted to negotiate my compensation and simply deflected these conversations and refused to negotiate,” said Mullenix.

Not only is the money different, she says, but the treatment.

“The law school began to treat me is the problem and it’s a threat to the status quo I’ve been made an example of what happens to women who come forward with inconvenient questions,” said Mullenix.

These are not unfamiliar accusations at the University of Texas. In a 2015 KXAN investigation, we found that 600 more men than women were employed at UT. The men, made more than $20,000 dollars more than women, on average. That did not include the athletic department which skews the results because of multi-million dollar salaries.

Since our report, UT’s Faculty Gender Equity Council reports they’ve eliminated the gender pay gap for those on the tenure track. Professor Linda Mullenix says she’s still being mistreated.

“There’s no reason to think that that isn’t true. What I can say is it’s not true at the law school. And it’s not true for Professor Mullenix,” said Colin Walsh, her attorney.

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