Ephraim Isaac, a former associate professor in the Afro-American Studies Department, said yesterday he and his lawyers are preparing for a possible lawsuit against the University.
Isaac recently received a notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) giving him official right to sue, he said.
After Harvard denied tenure to Isaac--a scholar in Ethiopian language, literature and church history--in 1975, Isaac requested an EEOC investigation.
The EEOC released a preliminary determination last December stating that Harvard had discriminated against Isaac on the basis of race (Black) and nationality (Ethipian) and recently reinvestigated the case with information mistakenly unused in the previous inquiry.
Because the investigation had continued for more than 180 days, Isaac requested an official right to sue in March, sources said yesterday.
The EEOC stopped processing the case when it gave Isaac the right to sue.
Diane Fraser, the University's attorney for the case, said yesterday the notice does not mean the EEOC reached a final decision.
Isaac said he had decided to terminate the investigation and ask for the right to sue--even though the preliminary determination gave his case more momentum--because the process had already taken three years.