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Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharon DeLucca, a senior professor of Graphic Design at
Roger Williams University, has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Rhode Island Superior Court against her employer
Roger Williams University alleging four counts of sexual discrimination. The lawsuit names
Roger Williams University President
Donald Farish, former RWU Acting Provost Robert Potter and Assistant Provost Robert Cole as co-defendants.
Sharon DeLucca, a tenured professor at RWU, claims that she was subject to repeated discrimination and retaliation over several years which caused her severe mental and physical distress and hospitalization. DeLucca was the driving force behind the development of RWU's Graphic Design program, which has provided millions of tuition dollars to the university over the past several years. In her lawsuit, DeLucca claims that RWU, and specifically
Dean Robert Cole, used her to develop the curriculum and recruit prospective students but refused to give her the equal title and compensation of her male counterparts. DeLucca immediately filed a complaint of sexual discrimination against Cole within the RWU administration. That complaint was supposed to be investigated by
Robert Potter, then acting Provost of RWU. DeLucca alleges that Potter met with her only once, treated her in an unprofessional manner and downplayed the seriousness of her claim. DeLucca then filed a sexual discrimination complaint against Cole with the Commission for Human Rights in
Roger Williams President
Donald Farish promoted
Robert Cole to Assistant Provost (the third highest ranking administrative position), despite Cole being named and central to an ongoing investigation into discrimination by the Commission for Human Rights. The lawsuit claims that Farish then attempted to marginalize DeLucca within RWU, attempting to remove her from all elected committee positions on campus and barring her from any involvement in the Graphic Design program, which she had built. This repeated harassment caused DeLucca such stress, that she was admitted to Rhode Island Hospital for "stroke like symptoms" in
April 2011. While hospitalized, Delucca was sent a disturbing bouquet of Black Lilies (aka "funeral flowers) from
Roger Williams University. The receipt of these flowers was perceived as a threat and caused DeLucca further emotional and physical trauma.
Professor Delucca is represented by Visconte, Boren& Campbell LTD and is seeking
$2 million plus punitive damages in the case.