Jauhari v. Sacred Heart University, Inc.
RULING granting in part defendant's 54 MOTION for Protective Order. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 3/2/2017. (Kaczmarek, S.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY, INC. :
Civ. No. 3:16CV00680(AWT)
March 2, 2017
RULING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER [Doc. #54]
Pending before the Court is a motion by defendant Sacred
Heart University, Inc. (“defendant”) for a protective order.
[Doc. #54]. Plaintiff Alka Jauhari (“plaintiff”) has submitted a
response in opposition. [Doc. #58]. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court GRANTS, in part, defendant’s Motion for a
Plaintiff commenced this action on May 3, 2016, alleging
employment discrimination. [Doc. #1]. In her Amended Complaint,
plaintiff alleges that she was denied tenure and a promotion on
the basis of her race, national origin, and/or gender, in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the
Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act; and the common law of
the State of Connecticut. See generally Doc. #28.
On October 26, 2016, plaintiff served her First Set of
Interrogatories and Requests for Production; on December 7, 2016,
she served her Second Set of Interrogatories and Requests for
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Production. See Doc. #55-3 at 23; Doc. #55-4 at 10. The discovery
requests seek, inter alia, information and documents concerning
other employees of defendant. After the parties alluded to
discovery issues in a Joint Status Report and subsequently
apprised the Court of a specific discovery dispute, the
undersigned held a telephonic conference on February 8, 2017.
[Docs. ##52, 53]. During the conference, the parties indicated
that they preferred to have the discovery dispute resolved prior
to conducting a deposition of defendant’s witness. See Doc. #52.
Accordingly, the Court advised the parties to meet and confer,
and the Court set a briefing schedule for any discovery motion
related to the issues at hand. See Doc. #52. On February 17,
2017, defendant filed the instant Motion for a Protective Order,
Memorandum in Support, and Proposed Order. [Docs. ##54, 55, 56].
On February 27, 2017, plaintiff filed a Memorandum in
Opposition.1 [Doc. #58]. The motion is now ripe for the Court’s
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets
Plaintiff’s Opposition also seeks to compel responses to
certain interrogatories and requests for production. See Doc. #58
at 1-2; 16. The Court declines to construe plaintiff’s opposition
as a Motion to Compel, as it was not filed as a motion, defendant
has had no opportunity to respond, and it is untimely. See Doc.
#52 (“If the parties are unable to reach a resolution, any motion
related to these issues shall be filed on or before February 17,
2017. Responses, if any, shall be filed on or before February 27,
2017.” (emphasis added)).
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forth the scope and limitations of permissible discovery:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering
the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the
amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to
relevant information, the parties’ resources, the
importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this
scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “The party resisting discovery bears
the burden of showing why discovery should be denied.” Cole v.
Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby, 256 F.R.D. 79, 80 (D. Conn.
A protective order may be issued by the Court pursuant to
Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
provides, in relevant part: “The court may, for good cause, issue
an order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including
... forbidding the disclosure or discovery[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(c)(1)(A). “Rule 26(c) confers broad discretion on the trial
court to decide when a protective order is appropriate and what
degree of protection is required.” Seattle Times Co. v.
Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984). Further, “[w]here the
discovery is relevant, the burden is upon the party seeking non-
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disclosure or a protective order to show good cause.” Dove v.
Atl. Capital Corp., 963 F.2d 15, 19 (2d Cir. 1992).
Defendant requests that plaintiff be precluded from
discovery regarding: (1) the qualifications of other employees
(“comparator discovery”); (2) other complaints of discrimination
against defendant; and (3) complaints made by female students
regarding inappropriate behavior of a professor in the Political
Science department. See Doc. #55 at 1-3. Defendant contends that,
inter alia, the information sought is not relevant. See generally
Doc. #55. Plaintiff objects, and argues that the discovery sought
is relevant to her claims, and therefore discoverable. See
generally Doc. #58.
To establish discriminatory treatment pursuant to Title VII,
plaintiff must show that she was “treated less favorably than
others solely because of [her] race, color, religion, sex or
national origin.” Zahorik v. Cornell Univ., 729 F.2d 85, 91 (2d
Cir. 1984); see also 42 U.S.C. §§2000e, et seq. Plaintiff must
first prove a prima facie case by showing that “(1) [s]he is a
member of a protected class; (2) [s]he was qualified to be a
tenured professor; (3) [s]he suffered an adverse employment
action in the denial of tenure; and (4) the circumstances give
rise to an inference of discrimination.” Tori v. Marist Coll.,
344 F. App’x 697, 699 (2d Cir. 2009); see also Zahorik, 729 F.2d
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at 92. “[A] prima facie case that a member of a protected class
is qualified for tenure is made out by a showing that some
significant portion of the departmental faculty, referrants or
other scholars in the particular field hold a favorable view on
the question.” Zahorik, 729 F.2d at 93–94. “[I]f the plaintiff
has established a prima facie case, the burden of producing
evidence shifts to the defendant to articulate some legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for the employee’s rejection.” Id. at 92
(quotation marks and citation omitted). If defendant meets its
burden, “the plaintiff may offer evidence that the defendant’s
ostensibly legitimate reasons were not genuinely held but were
merely a pretext for discrimination.” Id.
Defendant seeks to preclude plaintiff’s requests for
discovery regarding (1) tenure applicants in other departments of
the university, and (2) other tenure applicants within
plaintiff’s department. See Doc. #55 at 6. Defendant argues that
plaintiff’s discovery requests seek information that is not
relevant to the instant action, and that it would be unduly
burdensome to collect and produce said comparator information.
See id. at 6-8. Specifically, defendant argues that universitywide discovery would not result in comparable information, as
candidates for tenure in different academic departments are not
similarly situated to plaintiff, who is a faculty member in the
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Department of Government, Politics, and Global Studies. See id.
at 5-6. Defendant also contends that there are no relevant
comparators in plaintiff’s academic department, because the makeup of the selection committee was not the same for the only other
tenure candidate within the department during the relevant time
period. See id. at 7. Finally, defendant argues that plaintiff’s
requests implicate privacy and confidentiality concerns. See id.
In opposition, plaintiff makes several arguments to support
the contention that the discovery she seeks is relevant. See
generally Doc. #58. Plaintiff claims that the named comparators
she has selected are similarly situated to her, as they were held
to the same university-wide standards for tenure and promotion as
she. See Doc. #58 at 6. She further argues that an inference of
discrimination can be established from “procedural defects in the
tenure process” and that information regarding defendant’s
application of their procedures –- purportedly available in the
comparators’ records -- would therefore be relevant. Id. at 7.
Plaintiff also seeks to use the comparator discovery to prove
that defendant’s rationale for denying her tenure was pretextual.
See id. at 7-8.
“A plaintiff relying on disparate treatment evidence must
show she was similarly situated in all material respects to the
individuals with whom she seeks to compare herself.” Mandell v.
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Cty. of Suffolk, 316 F.3d 368, 379 (2d Cir. 2003). In order to be
an appropriate comparator, “the other individual must have a
situation sufficiently similar to plaintiff’s to support at least
a minimal inference that the difference of treatment may be
attributable to discrimination.” Bagley v. Yale Univ., No.
3:13CV01890(CSH), 2015 WL 8750901, at *2 (D. Conn. Dec. 14,
2015); see also Berube v. Great Atl. & Pac. Tea Co., 348 F. App’x
684, 686 (2d Cir. 2009) (“Employees used as comparators in such
an analysis need not be identically situated, but only must be
similarly situated in all material respects.”).
Comparators Outside Plaintiff’s Department
Plaintiff has propounded interrogatories and requests for
production seeking discovery regarding employees outside her
department, as to which defendant seeks a protective order.
Plaintiff’s requests seek both general university-wide comparator
information, and information as to three named employees. The
requests at issue are Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories 6,
16 and 17; Plaintiff’s Second Set of Interrogatories 1; and
Plaintiff’s First Requests for Production 18, 22-26, 28-35, 3844.
Of these requests, three interrogatories and one request for
production seek general, university-wide discovery. Interrogatory
16 requests the identification of all tenured and tenure-track
professors who have published in particular journals from 2009
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through 2015. See Doc. #55-3 at 15. Interrogatory 1 of
Plaintiff’s Second Set of Interrogatories requests the name of
the article and journal(s) for each individual identified in
Interrogatory 16. See Doc. #55-4 at 8. Interrogatory 17 requests
that defendant identify and provide information regarding every
individual who applied for tenure and promotion in 2014-2015. See
Doc. #55-3 at 15-16. Finally, Request for Production 18 seeks
production of “all minutes, notes, and recordings from [the]
Committee for Rank and Tenure meetings during the 2014-2015
school year.” Id. at 19.
Defendant seeks to preclude any disclosure of information
regarding individuals in different academic departments of the
university. Generally, case law holds that such individuals are
not appropriate comparators as they are not similarly situated.
See Zahorik, 729 F.2d at 93 (“A denial of tenure by an English
department simply cannot be compared with a grant of tenure in
the physics or history departments.”); see also Rajaravivarma v.
Bd. of Trustees for Connecticut State Univ. Sys., 862 F. Supp. 2d
127, 162 (D. Conn. 2012) (“[A]ny comparison to tenure candidates
in other departments ... would not be meaningful.”); cf. Bagley,
2015 WL 8750901, at *9 (limiting the scope of discovery of
comparators to those in the same department as plaintiff, with
the same title as plaintiff, at the same time as plaintiff, who,
like plaintiff, applied for reappointment during that time);
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Weinstock v. Columbia Univ., No. 95CV0569(JFK)(RLE), 1995 WL
567399, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 1995), aff’d, No.
95CV0569(JFK), 1996 WL 658437 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 13, 1996) (“Files of
other faculty members from the same academic area who were
promoted or granted tenure may reveal that other candidates were
held to a standard of scholarship lower than that required of the
plaintiff or were reappointed or tenured on the basis of
publication records which were non-existent or less extensive
than that of the plaintiff.” (emphasis added)).
Plaintiff argues that defendant based its denial of her
tenure application on the quality and reputation of the journals
in which she had published articles. See Doc. #58 at 3-4. Other
applicants for tenure were subject to the same scholarship
standards, plaintiff claims, but were granted tenure despite
publishing in similarly “dubious” journals. Id. at 11. Plaintiff
therefore argues that the tenure applications, publication
information and evaluations of faculty members outside her
department are relevant, and may provide evidence of disparate
treatment based on a non-uniform application of university-wide
standards. Thus, to prove that “defendant’s standards were not
applied uniformly[,]” Doc. #58 at 11, plaintiff believes that she
should not be limited to comparator discovery of individuals
within her department.
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The Court agrees with plaintiff that in this case, some
measure of non-departmental comparative discovery is appropriate.
At Sacred Heart University, plaintiff contends, tenure decisions
are not made by committees within individual departments. Rather,
a single “Rank and Tenure Committee” makes tenure decisions for
all departments across the University. In this case, plaintiff’s
Department Chair recommended her for tenure, and it was the
Committee that denied her application. The same Committee
considered and granted or denied applications from all University
departments. Thus, the concerns usually raised regarding nondepartmental comparator evidence are reduced in this case.
The Rank and Tenure Committee’s decision denying plaintiff’s
application for tenure and promotion, annexed to plaintiff’s
opposition papers, indicates that “most members of the committee
found Dr. Jauhari’s scholarship to be inadequate.” Doc. #58-2 at
2. It goes on to state that
three of [plaintiff’s four published] articles are in
journals of dubious quality that are not respected in the
scholarly community. ... Two of the articles were very
short (one only four pages) compared to the norm in her
field, with content that summarized the work of others
rather than presenting original research. Her work is
rarely cited by others. Her scholarship therefore did not
“increase recognition of the university as a center of
knowledge or culture” in the field of political science
or in the community at large (Faculty Handbook, 3.11.1,
publication in “recognized learned journals” (3.3.5,
p.11) but does not have language specifying what this
means. This fact caused one committee member to conclude
that Dr. Jauhari’s publications and others like it must
be deemed adequate. The majority of the committee held
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that information about the poor reputation of the three
journals in question is easily available on the Internet
and that therefore it is the applicant’s responsibility
to avoid such publications.
Id. The Court notes that the reasons given for plaintiff’s
“inadequate” scholarship determination extend beyond the quality
of the journals in which plaintiff published. Id. The Committee’s
decision, however, generally discusses the standards applicable
to the university at large, rather than to a particular
Thus, the Court concludes that defendant has not shown good
cause to completely preclude the comparator discovery that
plaintiff seeks. Discovery regarding other faculty members in the
university who applied for tenure and went through the facultyreview process the same year as plaintiff may provide relevant
information regarding the application of the university-wide
standards in effect the same year that plaintiff’s application
was denied. Accordingly, the Court finds that plaintiff can seek
discovery as to those faculty members who applied for and were
considered for tenure in the 2014-2015 academic year.
In addition to the general requests, plaintiff also seeks
information regarding three specific individuals that she
believes are appropriate comparators: Patrick Morris, Antoinette
Bruciati, and Rupendra Paliwal. Interrogatory 6, and Requests for
Production 22-26, 28-35, and 38-44 seek discovery as to these
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individuals, including, inter alia, their tenure files and
appointment documents. See Doc. #55-3 at 10, 19-21.
Defendant also seeks to preclude discovery of these three
specific comparators, arguing that it would be improper for
plaintiff to compare her scholarship across disciplines.
Plaintiff contends that Mr. Morris, a faculty member in the
Department of Criminal Justice, is an appropriate comparator
because he was a candidate for tenure during the same year as
plaintiff, subject to the same university-wide standards, applied
by the same committee. The Court agrees with plaintiff.
Defendant has not articulated good cause for a protective order
against disclosure of Mr. Morris’ tenure application, evaluations
and publication information.
However, the Court does not agree that plaintiff is entitled
to discovery regarding the other two named individuals. Plaintiff
has not articulated a convincing argument as to the relevance of
discovery regarding Antoinette Bruciati or Rupendra Paliwal, and
such discovery would like cause “annoyance [or] embarrassment.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). Plaintiff claims that discovery should
be permitted as to Ms. Bruciati because she was a member of the
Committee on Rank and Tenure, and plaintiff wishes to inquire as
to whether she applied the scholarship standard uniformly to
other tenure applicants. See Doc. #58 at 12. This argument does
not support discovery of Ms. Bruciati’s own employment
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information, including her own tenure file and reappointment
documents. See Doc. #55-3 at 19.
Plaintiff also claims that Mr. Paliwal’s tenure file,
appointment and reappointment documents are relevant and
discoverable, as Mr. Paliwal was granted tenure in 2011, during
the time that plaintiff was a tenure-track employee. See Doc. #58
at 12. However, Mr. Paliwal is the Provost and Vice President for
Academic Affairs –- an administrator, not an ordinary professor - and thus is not similarly situated to plaintiff. Therefore,
plaintiff is not entitled to discovery regarding Mr. Paliwal.
In sum, the Court finds that plaintiff is entitled to seek
discovery regarding applicants for tenure who went through the
tenure process in the 2014-2015 academic year. Defendant’s motion
is granted, in part, to the extent it seeks protection from
disclosure of all other university-wide comparator discovery.
Plaintiff is precluded from seeking discovery regarding: tenuretrack individuals in the university that were not considered for
tenure in the 2014-2015 year; individuals who applied for
promotion but not tenure in 2014-2015; individuals who published
in journals similar to plaintiff’s who were not considered for
tenure in the 2014-2015 year; and Rupendra Paliwal and Antoinette
Bruciati, as these individuals are not similarly situated to
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In so finding, the Court notes that defendant has not shown
it would be unduly burdensome to respond to plaintiff’s requests,
as limited above. In fact, defendant has offered no support at
all for the idea that compliance would be burdensome, except the
assertion that tenure files are returned to applicants. See Doc.
#55 at 7. By providing no information to guide the Court,
defendant has not met its burden of proving that it should be
protected from this narrowed category of discovery because of
“undue burden or expense.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). Plaintiff
asserts that there were only ten candidates for tenure in the
2014-2015 academic year, including herself. See Doc. #28 at 35.
Absent any showing by defendant of undue burden, the protective
order will be denied.
Defendant also seeks protection from discovery of comparator
information from both applicants for tenure and tenure-track
individuals within the Department of Government, Politics, and
Global Studies during the time that plaintiff was working at the
University.2 Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories 19, and
Requests for Production 26 and 27 appear to be implicated by this
portion of defendant’s motion. See Doc. #55-3 at 16-17, 19, 20.
Plaintiff was hired in 1995 as an adjunct professor, and was
appointed to a tenure-track position in 2009. See Doc. #28 at 2.
Plaintiff’s opposition states that she has agreed to limit all of
her discovery requests to the timeframe of 2009 to present. See
Doc. #58 at 10.
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In seeking protection from this particular discovery, defendant
argues that the members of the tenure selection committee have
changed from year to year, so tenure determinations of other
applicants are not comparable. See Doc. #55 at 7. This argument
is not persuasive.
These changes in the [tenure decision maker] ranks over
time are neither surprising nor dispositive of the
comparator question. ... In the present case, counsel
[for defendant] may, if so advised, call these
differences in identity among the ranks of the [decision
making committee] to the attention of the jury as an
element to be considered on the issue of whether a
[plaintiff], but contrary to [defendant’s] contention,
such differences do not establish as a matter of law that
the  identified [comparators] are not similarly
situated to [plaintiff].
Bagley, 2015 WL 8750901, at *2-*3 (internal citations omitted)).
Accordingly, defendant’s motion is denied as to other
applicants for tenure in plaintiff’s department. Defendant must
disclose information regarding faculty members in the Department
of Government, Politics, and Global Studies who applied for and
went through the tenure review process at any time from 2009
through 2015. However, the Court finds no justification for
discovery related to tenure-track faculty members who were not
considered for tenure during this timeframe. Accordingly,
defendant’s motion is granted to the extent it seeks to protect
from discovery as to tenure-track individuals who were not
considered for tenure from 2009 through 2015.
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Defendant also raises a concern regarding the privacy
implications of disclosing the comparator information to
plaintiff, and cites to section 31-128a of the Connecticut
General Statutes. That section defines a personnel file as
papers, documents and reports, including electronic mail
and facsimiles, pertaining to a particular employee that
are used or have been used by an employer to determine
such employee’s eligibility for employment, promotion,
disciplinary or other adverse personnel action including
employee evaluations or reports relating to such
employee’s character, credit and work habits. “Personnel
file” does not mean stock option or management bonus plan
records, medical records, letters of reference or
recommendations from third parties including former
employers, materials that are used by the employer to
plan for future operations, information contained in
separately maintained security files, test information,
the disclosure of which would invalidate the test, or
documents which are being developed or prepared for use
in civil, criminal or grievance procedures.
Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-128a. Said information can be disclosed
without written authorization of the employee “pursuant to a
lawfully issued administrative summons or judicial order[.]”
Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-128f. See also Metcalf v. Yale Univ., No.
15CV1696(VAB), 2017 WL 627423, at *5 (D. Conn. Feb. 15, 2017)
(discussing Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-128f, and finding that “courts
may order the disclosure of employee documents that are relevant
to a particular case as part of discovery”). The Court also notes
that there is no privilege protecting the disclosure of peer
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review materials in tenure decisions. See Univ. of Pennsylvania
v. E.E.O.C., 493 U.S. 182, 195 (1990).
With the exception of Patrick Morris, plaintiff seeks only
limited information as to the university-wide candidates for
tenure in the 2014-2015 year, and seeks only production of the
tenure file for any tenure candidates within her department from
2009 through 2015. The Court is confident that the Court’s
Protective Order, Doc. #4, will protect the information at issue,
and the defendant should designate said information as
confidential in accordance with that Order. See id. at 1-2.
Should the parties wish to fashion any additional safeguards to
protect the information at issue, they may propose them for Court
review. See Metcalf, 2017 WL 627423, at *5; see also Weinstock,
1995 WL 567399, at *7 (“In order to protect the privacy interests
of those faculty members whose files are produced, the parties
are directed to enter into a confidentiality agreement which
would limit the disclosure of the files to plaintiff’s counsel
and other persons necessary for trial preparation. The files
shall be used by plaintiff only in this action and copies of any
files produced shall be retained by plaintiff's counsel.”).
Complaints of Discrimination
Defendant also seeks a protective order against plaintiff’s
request for university-wide discovery regarding complaints of
discrimination on the basis of gender, race, and national origin
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since 2009. See Doc. #55 at 2-3. Plaintiff’s First Set of
Interrogatories 12 and 13, and Requests for Production 36 and 37
are implicated by this portion of defendant’s motion. See Doc.
#55-3 at 13-14, 20. Defendant asserts that plaintiff’s requests
are overbroad and seek discovery that is not relevant to this
matter. Plaintiff argues that her requests are “properly limited
in time and scope[.]” Doc. #58 at 13.
Defendant seeks to limit plaintiff to discovery regarding
complaints of discrimination on the basis of gender, race or
national origin within plaintiff’s department since 2009; and
university-wide since 2009, restricted to complaints on said
basis concerning the tenure and promotion process. See Doc. #55
Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that there was disparate
treatment of female tenure applicants at defendant university.
See Doc. #28 at 35. “Evidence of general patterns of
discrimination by an employer is relevant even in an individual
disparate treatment case.” Lieberman v. Gant, 630 F.2d 60, 68 (2d
Cir. 1980). However, it is unclear to the Court how universitywide complaints of discrimination unrelated to the tenure process
would have any bearing on the claims in plaintiff’s case, and
plaintiff has not rebutted defendant’s showing of good cause to
limit the university-wide discovery.
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Accordingly, defendant’s motion is granted, as it pertains
to discovery of general complaints of discrimination, universitywide, on the basis of race, national origin and gender against
defendant from 2009. Defendant must disclose information only as
to any complaints of discrimination on those bases from 2009
through 2015 (1) within the Department of Government, Politics,
and Global Studies; and (2) university-wide, regarding the tenure
process. See Bagley v. Yale Univ., 315 F.R.D. 131, 147–48 (D.
Conn. 2016), as amended (June 15, 2016) (denying unlimited
university-wide discovery of prior discrimination complaints);
see also Zahorik v. Cornell Univ., 98 F.R.D. 27, 31 (N.D.N.Y.
1983) (“Accordingly, plaintiffs are entitled to discover past
instances of sex discrimination against female educators at
defendant University and may inquire into the treatment these
female educators have been afforded by defendant. They may not,
however, conduct a general ‘fishing expedition’ into areas
unrelated to their claims such as the University’s treatment of
non-academic personnel, administrators, or discrimination claims
based on factors other than sex.” (footnote omitted)).
Prior Complaints of Inappropriate Behavior
Plaintiff’s Second Set of Interrogatories and Requests for
Production seek the discovery of “complaints made by female
students regarding inappropriate behavior in all classes taught
by [an Associate Professor], including any letter(s) sent to the
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Bishop regarding complaints against [that professor].” Doc. #55-4
at 8. Defendant argues that this discovery should be precluded as
it is not relevant, and because it would constitute impermissible
character evidence, under Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of
Evidence. See Doc. #55 at 9-10. Plaintiff argues that the
“discovery request is relevant to Plaintiff’s ability to conduct
discovery as to [the professor’s] motivations for the sole
negative recommendation in her Department for her tenure
application.” Doc. #58 at 15.
Plaintiff has not proffered any reason why discovery of
student complaints of “inappropriate behavior” by a faculty
member would have any bearing on that faculty member’s motivation
to submit a letter that did not recommend plaintiff for promotion
and tenure. This is precisely the sort of inquiry that is likely
to cause “annoyance [or] embarrassment” and thus is properly
subject to a protective order. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1).
Accordingly, defendant’s motion for a protective order is
granted, to the extent it pertains to said discovery.
Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, the Court
GRANTS, in part, defendant’s Motion for a Protective Order.
Defendant is protected from disclosure of university-wide
comparator discovery, with the exception of discovery as to those
who applied for and were considered for tenure in the 2014-2015
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academic year. Defendant is also protected from discovery
regarding individuals in the Department of Government, Politics,
and Global Studies who were not candidates for tenure from 2009
through 2015. Defendant is further protected from disclosure of
discovery regarding university-wide complaints of discrimination
on the basis of race, national origin, and/or gender, from 2009
through 2015, to the extent those complaints do not relate to
discrimination during the tenure process. Finally, defendant is
protected from disclosure of students’ complaints of
inappropriate behavior regarding a named faculty member in the
Department of Government, Politics, and Global Studies.
This is not a Recommended Ruling. This is an order regarding
discovery which is reviewable pursuant to the “clearly erroneous”
statutory standard of review. See 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(A); Fed.
R. Civ. P. 72(a); and D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 72.2. As such, it is an
order of the Court unless reversed or modified by the District
Judge upon motion timely made.
SO ORDERED at New Haven, Connecticut, this 2nd day of March,
HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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