Six months after she rejected Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow’s claim of gender discrimination under Title IX, U.S. District Judge Sara Ellis dismissed his amended claim against the University in a ruling on Aug. 28, according to the Cook County Record, ending the civil suit against the University.
Ludlow’s suit claimed gender discrimination under Title IX in the University’s investigation of a student sexual harassment case against the professor from February 2014, when a female Medill undergraduate sued the philosophy professor for unwanted sexual advances at an event in 2012. The student had also sued the University for mishandling her original complaint against the professor.
Ludlow’s claim against the school alleged discrimination, defamation and invasion of privacy, stating the investigation process brought about by the University was “discriminatory” and failed to “cite relevant evidence” in favor of the professor because of his gender.
Judge Ellis dismissed all of the claims in February, ruling the professor did not prove the University discriminated against him on the basis of gender. The judge ruled much the same in regards to his amended complaint, filed later that month after the initial ruling.
In addition to discrimination, the case brought about claims of defamation on the parts of Vice President of University Relations Al Cubbage and a philosophy graduate student with whom Ludlow had a romantic relationship, involved in the original sexual harassment investigation brought against him by the University.
The judge dismissed these counts without prejudice, stating "the Court finds some complex questions of state law and has determined that it is not obvious how the claims should be decided," stating that because the graduate student was not an Illinois citizen, jurisdiction would need to be proven. Ludlow is free to continue to pursue these claims in the Cook County Circuit Court, according to the judge.
“The University’s position has been all along that the lawsuit had no merit and now the federal court has ruled that way twice,” Cubbage said. “So we’re very pleased.”