WICHITA, Kan. — An Ohio professor is suing Wichita State University, accusing school officials of rescinding a job offer after she told them she was pregnant.
Evangeline Heiliger, a 41-year-old visiting assistant professor of gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Oberlin College, said in her lawsuit that that she was offered a job as an assistant professor of women's studies at Wichita State during a March 15 phone call with Chineyer Okafor, director of the university's Center for Women's Studies.
During that call, Heiliger told the university for the first time that she was pregnant and asked about on-site childcare available at Wichita State, according to the lawsuit. The next day, she wrote an email to the-department dean Ron Matson about her excitement over starting the new job, The Wichita Eagle reported . Instead, Maston emailed her back "indicating that he had become aware that she was no longer available for the position and that they were removing her from consideration," according to the lawsuit.
"At no point during Dr. Heiliger's conversation with Dr. Okafor did she ever indicate she was not available to accept the position," the suit contends.
Instead, Heiliger responded to Matson's email that she was available for job, but she never received a response, according to the lawsuit.
Wichita State general counsel David Moses said in an email to the Eagle that an administrative agency investigated Heiliger's claim before the lawsuit was filed "and didn't conclude that the university violated the law."
Matson, who was an associate professor and the dean of the university's Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, retired in June.
Heiliger is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.