University of Idaho & former law school professor agree on $750,000 settlement

The University of Idaho and a former law professor have reached a $750,000 settlement, resolving a race and gender discrimination lawsuit.

The settlement was finalized in U.S. District Court earlier this week.

Shaakirrah Sanders

Shaakirrah Sanders joined the U of I’s law school faculty in 2011, and in 2018, she was the first African-American descendant of slaves to become a full law school professor at the university.

But in June 2019, she sued the university, saying she was “subjected to insulting, humiliating and/or discriminatory conduct related to her gender or race.” She also said she was subject to workplace discrimination — such as changes in teaching assignments, a delay in her sabbatical, and a focus on negative student reviews, as opposed to positive reviews.

“The university acted with deliberate indifference toward its obligation to make employment decisions including promotions without regard to race and/or gender,” the lawsuit stated.

The U of I and former law school deans Mark Adams and Jerrold Long denied all wrongdoing. The case went to trial in October 2022, but a jury could not reach a verdict.

But this week, both parties agreed on a joint statement, filed with the federal court: “The parties have agreed the best path forward is a resolution that allows an end to this litigation.”

The settlement also calls for the U of I to develop a policy prohibiting the video or audio recording of faculty, staff or students without prior consent.


U of I, former law school professor agree on $750,000 settlement