Newman case against Point Park settled
College controversyAllegations of discrimination

Newman case against Point Park settled

Jewish professor and Point Park University come to terms through mediation

Channa Newman (Photo by Thomas Mullane)
Channa Newman (Photo by Thomas Mullane)

A lawsuit filed by a Jewish professor against Point Park University, claiming employment discrimination based on her Jewish and Israeli ancestry, was settled.

The 19-count complaint was filed in January 2020 by Channa Newman, a Holocaust survivor with U.S., Israeli and Czech citizenship, who has been employed by Point Park since 1964. In her complaint, Newman alleged that another professor used his position at Point Park to promote “highly anti-Zionist views and activities” and to “foster the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel,” and that he and others sought to have Newman removed from her position because she did not acquiesce to their one-sided representation of the conflict.

The anti-Zionists on campus tried to remove Newman from her position at Point Park through the filing of a Title IX complaint against her, in which a student claimed that Newman made an insensitive comment about the #MeToo movement, Newman alleged. She was exonerated from those charges, but not before she had endured significant maltreatment from the university, including having her classes canceled mid-semester, being prohibited from campus and being denied access to her email — actions she said were not taken against other faculty members accused of Title IX infractions.

The case was assigned to a mediator in June and was resolved, according to a July 8 court filing. The terms of the settlement are undisclosed.

Point Park declined to comment on the case’s resolution, as did James Lieber, an attorney for Newman.

In September 2020, The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit network of legal professionals that defends the civil rights of Jews and the pro-Israel community, joined Newman’s legal team.

“The Lawfare Project, which represented Channa Newman, along with co-counsel, is thrilled to report that the matter has been settled,” a spokesperson for the organization said in an email to the Chronicle. PJC

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