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UAB Reaches Settlement With Former President Ann Reynolds

UAB Reaches Settlement With Former President Ann Reynolds

The University of Alabama System has reached a $475,000 settlement with former UAB president Dr. W. Ann Reynolds, who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the system’s board of trustees.

In the settlement, the system and its trustees did not admit wrongdoing in her reluctant departure in 2002 after the board asked her the previous year to retire (see Black Issues, Oct. 25, 2001).

She sued in May 2003, contending she was forced out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham because of her age and gender. Reynolds was 63 at the time (see Black Issues, July 3, 2003).

The settlement, reached Nov. 29 and obtained by The Birmingham News, included a confidentiality agreement that can be broken only with both parties’ consent.

“All I’m authorized to say is Dr. Reynolds is very pleased with the settlement,” says her attorney, Richard Ogle.

University money was used to pay the settlement, but some of it could be reimbursed by insurance in the future, says Stancil Starnes, who represented the system.

Reynolds contended she had been pressured to resign by Dr. Thomas Meredith, the system chancellor at the time, and the board. The trustees in a statement denied her allegations, saying age and gender were not factors in her retirement.

In her suit, Reynolds asked to be reinstated as president and receive back pay and compensation for damages. She also sought punitive damages.

The system initially offered Reynolds a year’s sabbatical at her salary of more than $300,000 and a return to the university as a tenured faculty member.

She contended that Meredith treated her in a “demeaning and sexist manner” and treated her differently from her male counterparts at the system’s other two campuses.

Reynolds continued working as director of UAB’s Center for Community Outreach Development until Dec. 31, 2003.

Associated Press

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