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Appeals Court Rejects Suit Against U. of Minnesota

August 10, 2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a lower court's ruling that Jen Banford was not fired from her position as head softball coach and director of operations for the women's hockey team at the University of Minnesota at Duluth for being a lesbian.

She sued Duluth in 2015.

Said the Eighth Circuit: "Banford also has not carried her ultimate burden of persuading us that she was the victim of intentional discrimination. Out of four part-time hockey staff members, three were openly gay. Two of those openly gay women's contracts were renewed. … The differentiating factor between those whose contracts were renewed and Banford was not their sexual orientation. Banford has not met her burden of showing that she was fired because of her sexual orientation, rather than to allow the incoming head coach to appoint her own director of operations. Accordingly, we affirm the grant of UMD's motion for summary judgment."

 

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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