Auburn professor sues university over tenure

A biochemistry professor at Auburn University has filed a lawsuit, saying she was denied tenure because of her race and nationality.

Associate professor Smita Mohanty's lawsuit, filed this week, alleges she was twice denied tenure on the basis of her race and national origin.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( ) the lawsuit asks the court to declare that Auburn discriminated against Mohanty, to grant an injunction giving Mohanty tenure and to grant Mohanty back pay and benefits. It also seeks at least $300,000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages and court fees.

Auburn's director of university communications, Mike Clardy says the university denies that national origin or race played any role in the tenure decision.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.