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Abstract

The scenario is frequently the same: a minority candidate who holds a probationary faculty position at a college or university is denied tenure. Though the institution claims that the denial was based on the candidate's deficiency in one of three important areas, he suspects that, in reality, the denial was based on his minority status. The unsuccessful candidate's recourse, after exhausting internal grievance procedures, is to sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1973, the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas v. Green described for the first time a method of analysis to be utilized in Title VII disparate treatment cases. The lower courts have tried to clarify this ambiguous standard, but the question that remains is which party bears the burden of proving qualification for a particular job This Note explores problems of proving relative qualifications under Title VII. It begins with a discussion of the allocations of burdens of proof and pleading under Title VII and proceeds to address the question of which party must prove relative qualification under the McDonnell Douglas formula. Finally, the Note analyzes the role of the subjective criteria in the tenure setting.

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