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Indian-origin professor sues US College for discrimination

Balachandra claimed that she lost career opportunities and faced economic losses due to the discriminatory behaviour against her

Indian-origin Lakshmi Balachandra, an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College's Wellesley Business School, Massachusetts filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in the US District Court in Boston against the institution.

According to a Boston Globe report the lawsuit alleges that Balachandra was subjected to gender and racial discrimination at the institution. “Babson favours white and male faculty and predominantly reserves awards and privileges for them,” the complaint filed in the court reads.

Balachandra claimed that she lost career opportunities and faced economic losses because of maltreatment and the administration's dereliction in the investigation.

Andrew Corbett, a professor and former chair of the college’s entrepreneurship division, told the Boston Globe that Balachandra joined Babson's in 2012 and earned her tenure in 2019. According to the official, Balachandra was one of the primary direct perpetrators of the discriminatory work environment.

According to Balachandra, Corbett only allowed her to teach required courses in entrepreneurship despite her requests to teach electives. She had previously handled classes at MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School.

Balachandra also accused Corbett of often losing his temper with her and other female colleagues. She is currently on leave for a fellowship at the National Science Foundation.

According to the Boston Globe report, the suit claims that Corbett remarked in an annual review that Balachandra’s teaching was “disorganized” and that she was “not a great teacher” after consulting student evaluation. When she tried to discuss this issue with Corbett, he suppressed her saying she had no right to question his judgement.