NewsCovering Kern County


Professor sues historically Black university claiming age, race discrimination

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 13:52:22-04

A white professor at historically black Tuskegee University says he's suing the school, claiming he's been denied the salary he deserves because of age and race discrimination.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports physics professor Marshall Burns held a press conference Tuesday. He said he hasn't considered leaving Tuskegee because he loves teaching students.

The 73-year-old Burns says he gets an associate professor's salary despite being a full professor since 1980 and asking for a raise at least 12 times.

The lawsuit says teachers of African and Asian descent are making more than Burns despite being younger and working at Tuskegee for less time.

The suit refers to Burns as a white, "native-born American" who helped Tuskegee obtain funding from more conservative legislators in Alabama.

Burns, who earned his PhD. in 1972, said he's paid $60,500 while younger full professors make between $78,000 and $90,000. He says the denial of a full professor's salary has cost him $400,000 over his career.

The Advertiser says the university didn't respond to its request for comment, and court records show the school has yet to respond to the complaint.