The former chancellor of IPFW has filed suit against Purdue University, alleging that he was targeted for compulsory retirement as part of a drive to hire more women administrators.
Michael Wartell served as chancellor for almost 19 years, until June 30, 2012. The university refused to grant Wartell a waiver to work beyond its mandatory retirement age. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, Wartell is asking for reinstatement as chancellor and back pay, among other compensation for the damage he says he suffered.
Without explaining where the account came from, Wartell's suit alleges that “In late 2010 or early 2011, (former Purdue President France) Cordova announced at a meeting that before her term as president was over that she wanted to increase the number of females in the Purdue administration. Cordova specially pointed to a picture of Wartell on a board and said, 'I am going to replace this one with a woman.'”
Vicky L. Carwein was chosen as IPFW chancellor, replacing Wartell, in June. Wartell was 65 when he became chancellor emeritus; Carwein was 64 when she was hired to replace him as chancellor.
His case is probably helped by the fact that Purdue has so frequently waived the retirement age that it was almost like not having one.
It's tempting to say to Wartell, "Hey, it's different when your own ox is being gored, huh?" but I have no idea about how he personally feels about the affirmative action model of "some discrimination is OK, and we won't even call it that." He did lead a university that trafficked in such nonsense, but that doesn't necessarily mean he endorses the view.
Did Purdue make a waiver exception in his case because it was convenient for the get-more-women-at-the-top agenda? Good lord, what a silly question. I'm glad somebody called them on it, especially since it keeps the spotlight on the indefensible mandatory retirement age.