Fineberg Testifies in Discrimination Case

It's been a long week for University Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67.

Fineberg was a top candidate in the recently completed presidential search. Yesterday, he took the stand in Middlesex County Superior Court to testify in a discrimination suit brought against the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) while Fineberg was dean.

Tamara Awerbuch-Friedlander, a lecturer at HSPH alleges that Fineberg refused to promote her to a tenure-track position because she is a woman, despite the positive recommendation of the HSPH's selection committee of appointment and re-appointment (SCARP).


The court has been hearing Awerbuch vs. Harvard since Feb. 26, and closing arguments will be heard in the next two days. The jury should reach a decision by the end of the week, Awerbuch-Friedlander s attorney said.

Awerbuch-Friedlander is seeking nearly $1million in lost wages and benefits, as well as a promotion at the HSPH. She has declined a six-figure settlement offer, Science magazine reported in February.

Awerbuch-Friedlander also alleges in the law suit that her application was not properly considered for a position in the ecology and epidemiology branch of the HSPH and that she lost out on a job in the risk analysis branch of HSPH to a man, though she was more qualified.

Lastly Awerbuch-Friedlander contends that when she complained about discrimination at the HSPH, the University retaliated against her, removing her from the phone book and refusing to pay her over a technicality.

Daryl Lapp is acting counsel for Harvard, and Fineberg spent almost three hours on the stand yesterday responding to Lapp's questions.

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