LUFKIN – A former educator at Stephen F. Austin State University brought a lawsuit against the Nacogdoches-based institution, claiming it did not promote her to a deanship because of her sex.

Dr. Geralyn McClure Franklin initiated legal action on Nov. 14 in the Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Franklin, who earned a Ph.D. from SFA, says she sought a promotion from interim to permanent Dean of SFA’s Nelson Rusche College of Business.

The plaintiff was reportedly the lone female finalist in a field of four. According to recent court documents, she had nineteen years of varied experiences as a dean, associate dean, division director, and department chair at five different universities.

Franklin asserts she was the most highly qualified candidate in the first search, but the university did not select one of the four finalists and instead replaced her with the male head of the of the search committee that failed to select her.

The respondent’s second search included another female finalist, to which the original petition alleges ended with the selection of a male candidate.

Per Franklin, a pattern of sex discrimination at SFA exists as does nepotism, “which frequently results in discrimination against more qualified candidates, including women.”

She further states that after her employment with the defendant ended, she became Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the United Arab Emirates University. The position required her to relocate far away from her parents, who live near Nacogdoches, and have medical issues, the suit says.

Consequently, Franklin seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by attorneys Christine L. Stetson and David E. Bernsen of the Bernsen Law Firm in Beaumont.

Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 9:17-CV-0193

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