University reaches settlement with psychology professor

The University of Oregon has reached a settlement agreement with now-retired psychology professor Jennifer Freyd. Freyd filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court asserting claims of gender pay discrimination.

The $350,000 settlement closes out yearslong litigation during which the university defended its commitment to fair compensation practices. The case, which had been dismissed in district court, was remanded back for trial earlier this year by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The majority of the settlement, $335,000, will be paid to Freyd and her attorneys to cover legal fees and emotional distress. The remaining $15,000 represents lost wages from the five- to six-year period at issue.

In addition to the settlement payment, the university will make a $100,000 donation to the Center for Institutional Courage, which was founded by Freyd.

“We are grateful to have settled this case,” said UO Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reed. “We wish professor Freyd well as a retired member of faculty and as she pursues her next endeavors.”

The university and Freyd issued the following joint settlement statement:

“Professor Emerit Jennifer Freyd and the University of Oregon are pleased to announce that we have settled our lawsuit after more than four years of litigation. Under the settlement, the University will pay Prof. Freyd and her attorneys $350,000 to cover her claims for damages as well as attorney’s fees over the four years of litigation. In addition, the University will make a $100,000 donation to the Center for Institutional Courage, the foundation founded by Prof. Freyd dedicated to scientific research and action promoting institutional courage.

“We are pleased to put this litigation behind us and together affirm our continued commitment to uncover, acknowledge, and address gender inequity and other forms of discrimination.”