Roger Williams University Professors Claim Discrimination

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

Two female professors are standing alone against Roger Williams University.

They are seeking over one million dollars in damages claiming harassment and discrimination.

They say it's gone on for years.

Professor Sharon DeLucca said, “I've tried to handle this internally with University administrators, but my concerns were met with threats and overt retaliation.”

DeLucca added she later became ill and said, “While I was in the hospital, I was sent black lilies – funeral flowers – from Roger Williams University.”

Professor DeLucca says the harassment began when she asked for equal pay to male professors doing the same work at Roger Williams University.

Another professor says she's has encountered racial discrimination and more.

Professor Bonita Cade said. “Despite my successful academic career and credentials, I was treated as nothing more than a affirmative action hire.”

Cade added, “I've also had to carefully time my entrance to my classroom, to avoid sexual harassment from a male instructor who engaged in inappropriate touching.”

In a statement to ABC6 News, Roger Williams University declined to comment on the specific allegations because the cases are in litigation and arbitration.

In its statement Roger Williams University goes on to say, “We intend to vigorously defend against the alleged claims as they relate to the university, and we believe that we will ultimately prevail in each case.”