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Wartell files discrimination lawsuit against Purdue


FORT WAYNE – Former IPFW Chancellor Michael Wartell has filed a federal discrimination suit against Purdue University, alleging he was fired because of his gender.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, alleges that then-Purdue Chancellor France Cordova, a woman, told a meeting in late 2010 or early 2011 that before her term as president was over she wanted to increase the number of women in Purdue’s administration and “specifically pointed to a picture of Wartell on a board and said ‘I am going to replace this one with a woman.’ ”

Wartell was forced out at IPFW in 2011 because Purdue University requires university executives to retire at age 65. Requests from IPFW that he be allowed to stay were denied.

Wartell filed a complaint against the university, claiming discrimination and harassment.

Purdue hired John C. Trimble as an independent investigator. The investigation was completed last February and reported to a group of Purdue board members, which found no discrimination had taken place. But nothing was ever made public, not even to Wartell, and in May Wartell filed suit against Purdue in Tippecanoe County, demanding Trimble’s report.

In January, that court ruled Purdue cannot claim attorney-client privilege as a reason to prevent disclosure and ordered Trimble and Alyssa Rollock, the school’s vice president for ethics and compliance, to answer deposition questions. Other questions remain in that case, however, and a hearing is set for April 16.

Wartell’s federal lawsuit notes that he, a 65-year-old male, was replaced as chancellor by Vicky Carwein, a 64-year-old female.

For more on this story see Wednesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Wednesday.