GARY | An assistant English professor at Indiana University Northwest has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Council saying she has been denied tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor because she is gay.
Anne Balay filed the complaint by email Sunday through her attorneys Christopher Cooper, of Chicago, and Roy Dominguez, with offices in Merrillville.
Indiana University Northwest spokeswoman Emily Banas said the university had no comment, but will respond to the U.S. Department of Education at the appropriate time.
In the complaint, Balay says the university has known her sexual orientation since her date of hire and she is qualified to be promoted to the rank of associate professor and she is qualified to be tenured.
She says was denied tenure and promotion because she is female and because she is gay. The complaint also says similarly situated persons not in the two "protected" classes were treated more favorably than she was.
Cooper said this is the first step in the process to filing a lawsuit. He said Balay has been with the university eight years, and it only takes five years to earn tenure.
He said she has published extensively and reportedly has the support of all but two people — the dean and the department chair.
Cooper said it could take months before he receives a right-to-sue letter, which would allow the assistant professor to bring an action in federal court.
"There is a hearing scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday and she is again going to try and lobby the two people who opposed her tenure to reverse their decision," he said.