Professor suing UTSA for pay discrimination

A lawsuit has been filed against UTSA by Dr. Kelly Suter, an associate computational biology professor, regarding gender pay discrimination. Suter is a biologist whose work focuses on the neuron interaction that governs sexual reproduction by a specific process that releases a particular hormone. This is her second lawsuit against the university; the first was in response to a delay in her previously guaranteed laboratory research money, which she claimed jeopardized her career.

Suter received a starting support offer from UTSA of $230,000 and close to a million dollars in grant money from the National Institute of Health from her previous employer, the University of Louisville. Details of her first lawsuit explained that, after having her research funding and plans postponed, she claimed that the university had failed to maintain their commitment and support for her research.

Her most recent lawsuit claimed that another male professor received a substantially larger salary increase, even though they were promoted with tenure at the same time. According to the lawsuit, before the promotion, the male professor earned $579 more than Suter annually because he had been employed by the university a year longer than she. After the promotion, his salary increased to $103,000, while her salary rose to just $83,795. The lawsuit stated that the male professor clarified he had been offered more money due to a counteroffer from another university. UTSA stated that it did not counter any offers from other universities.

According to Laura Hoopes of “Nature,” a scientific journal, Suter is demanding an apology for several financial misjudgments that nearly ended her loss of federal funding because her research may be beneath productivity standards. “The last five years of my life have been a nightmare. And I will not in any way give the impression that this is acceptable,” Suter told Hoopes.