excessive. Id. Mr. Mekkawi requested leave for the purpose of visiting his aging and ill parents in Lebanon, whom he had not seen in three years. The record shows that the University was forced to intervene on Mekkawi's behalf because the plaintiff failed to act on Mekkawi's leave request for over 5 weeks. Id. at Exh. 8. This comparison is not probative because the plaintiff's request for holiday leave cannot be compared to Mekkawi's family medical emergency leave request. The plaintiff was granted leave for her mother's death.
As further support for her disparate treatment claim, the plaintiff alleges that the three subordinate complainants were "disgruntled staff all of whom benefited from my removal as Director." The plaintiff alleges that, although these "three persons engaged in insubordinate acts, disrespect to the Director, and violation of University rules," the University "condoned some of these practices." Of the three subordinates to whom the plaintiff refers, however, two were women. At best, therefore, the plaintiff has alleged that both men and women were treated differently than she was -- undermining her claim that she was treated differently on the basis of her sex. See Bush v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 990 F.2d 928, 931 (7th Cir. 1993) (summary judgment for employer affirmed; "a pattern, in which blacks sometimes do better than whites and sometimes do worse, being random with respect to race, is not evidence of racial discrimination"), cert. denied, 128 L. Ed. 2d 367, 114 S. Ct. 1648 (1994).
Besides the inherent weaknesses in the plaintiff's comparisons between herself and other employees, these comparisons are largely irrelevant. The question at issue is, with respect to her termination, whether the plaintiff was treated differently than men who were similarly situated to the plaintiff. She has provided no evidence that a man similarly situated with respect to position, responsibility, work performance and the like, was not terminated while she was.
The plaintiff also proffers the affidavit testimony of Dr. Ilona H. Anderson, Acting Dean, Faculty Relations, The City College of CUNY. Dr. Anderson states in her affidavit that "At present, all four of Howard University Libraries are headed by males," and "Since the time of its Charter in 1867, the number of women who have served as the Director of any Howard University library is negligible." Anderson Aff. PP 9-10. Dr. Anderson concludes that "there appears the possibility that some factor other than qualifications alone is operating in selecting and retaining directors to head the Libraries at Howard University." Id. at 2.
Although statistical evidence is unquestionably relevant in a Title VII case, it is appropriate to exclude such evidence with little or no probative value. Carter v. Ball, 33 F.3d 450, 456 (4th Cir. 1994). According to this standard, Dr. Anderson's testimony must be excluded. First, Dr. Anderson's background is that of an administrator and teacher. There is nothing in her resume to indicate that she is qualified to provide statistical evidence of discriminatory practices, hiring or otherwise, at Howard University. Dr. Anderson is not qualified as an expert under Fed. R. Evid. 702. Moreover, Dr. Anderson's testimony is statistically insignificant because she provides no basis or methodology for her conclusions. For example, she does not disclose such information as the source of her factual assertions, the number of qualified applicants for librarian positions at Howard University and their gender ratio, and the promotion rate of women to men at Howard University. See Carter, 33 F.3d at 456 ("The mere absence of minority employees in upper-level positions does not suffice to prove . . . discrimination without a comparison to the relevant labor pool."). Dr. Anderson's testimony is not in any measure helpful to a clear understanding of any material fact in issue under Fed. R. Evid. 701. Thus, Dr. Anderson's testimony cannot be credited as reliable, significant, or admissible.
As for the proffered testimony of Mr. Maureen Sullivan, Library Consultant, it states generally that women and minorities are under-represented in university staffs. Sullivan avers that there are "more opportunities today for women and minorities to be appointed to the position of Director at a research library, [however,] the pool of qualified applicants . . . is small." Sullivan Aff. at 2. Again, the Court must exclude this evidence because it is meaningless. There is no showing of how this testimony is helpful or even relevant to the plaintiff's claim.
The plaintiff next argues that the fact that she was replaced by a "male subordinate with lesser qualifications" proves she was discriminated against by the defendant. It does not. The plaintiff has not shown that the reasons for her removal were phony. The University's decision to fill its vacancy with a male, in itself, does not prove discrimination. The plaintiff does not dispute that Mr. Mekkawi, who holds three graduate degrees, one post-graduate diploma, and has done doctoral studies, and who has worked at Howard University since 1972, moving progressively in the library administration, is at least minimally qualified for her former position. She admitted as much at the pretrial conference in this case.
The only evidence that supports the plaintiff's contention that the real reason for her termination was discrimination is the plaintiff's affidavit testimony that, on September 8, 1994, Dr. Taylor told the plaintiff "that he had been a member of [her] Search Committee when [she] was appointed in 1989. Then he said: 'You were not my preference, I preferred a male - Dr. Hiram Davis'." Plaint's Aff. at 5. The plaintiff then alleges that subsequently, she learned that Dr. Hiram Davis was a leading candidate in the 1995 search to replace the plaintiff. As to this statement, whether or not it is a sexist remark is questionable. The fact that Dr. Davis was a leading candidate in a later search tends to show that it was Dr. Davis himself, and not just any male, that Dr. Taylor focused upon as his preference. Drawing all inferences in the plaintiff's favor, however, and attributing sexism to this remark, this one statement falls far short of meeting the plaintiff's burden by a preponderance of the evidence that she was victim of sex discrimination in this case.
See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252 ("The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.").
The plaintiff also alleges in her affidavit the following:
Dr. Taylor used a male, stereotypical sports analogy to explain why I was being reassigned form [sic] the University Libraries. He said he wanted to be proud of the Library again. He said: "Sometimes a good player or coach may be wrong for the team." He said it was time for a change; that I was not right for the team.
Id. at 5-6. The Court observes that a mere conversational illusion to sports is not sexist.
Believing the plaintiff's evidence and drawing all reasonable inferences in her favor, the Court must grant summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. In the face of the evidence of record that the defendant terminated her for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons, the plaintiff cannot show by a preponderance of the evidence that she was a victim of unlawful discrimination.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court shall enter judgment in favor of the defendant in the above-captioned case. The Court shall issue an Order of even date herewith consistent with the foregoing Memorandum Opinion.
October 21st, 1996
CHARLES R. RICHEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
For the reasons set forth in the Court's Memorandum Opinion of even date herewith, it is, by the Court, this 21st day of October, 1996,
ORDERED that judgment shall be entered in favor of the defendant in the above-captioned case; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that any and all extant Motions shall be, and hereby are, declared MOOT; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the trial date shall be, and hereby is, VACATED and that this case shall be, and hereby is, DISMISSED from the dockets of this Court.
CHARLES R. RICHEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE