Former Dean of School of Music Ayden Adler sues DePauw University in civil rights case

Ayden Adler / THE DEPAUW
Ayden Adler / THE DEPAUW
Ayden Adler / THE DEPAUW
Ayden Adler / THE DEPAUW


Serving as Dean of DePauw’s School of Music for less than a year, Ayden Adler has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against DePauw University, charging the University of violating the federal Equal Pay Act.  
    In the 15-page lawsuit, which includes a copy of the letter DePauw sent Adler to offer her the position of Dean, Adler claims she was removed from her position without warning and was paid less in her position as Dean than her male predecessors for doing the same work.
    In an email to The DePauw, Adler’s attorney, Shelly Jackson, wrote: “Dr. Adler firmly believes that she was performing well in her role as Dean and that her removal as Dean was improper for a number of reasons,” but would not comment further.

    Adler and DePauw University President Mark McCoy both refused to comment on the pending lawsuit. McCoy hand picked Adler for the position as School of Music Dean in April 2016.
    On March 13 of this year, Adler was removed from her position as Dean after four School of Music personnel abruptly left their positions, all of whom returned after Adler was let go as Dean.

    “I have received no substantive response regarding the allegations, nor an opportunity to address them. Despite this, Dr. [Mark] McCoy decided to relieve me of my duties as Dean of the School of Music,” Adler said in a statement after her removal in March.
    Adler took legal action against DePauw University later that month.
    Despite no longer serving as Dean, Adler is still working as a tenured professor. This semester she will be teaching “Introduction to Arts Management” (UNIV 290B) and “Get Some Culture!: Arts Patronage, History and Current Practice” (HIST 197E).

    The first court date is scheduled for February 2019.