spring of 1994 to explain her academic performance in the
psychology department during the first semester. The Dean
listened to her story and pointed out that if plaintiff stayed
with the psychology department, Dr. Fudin would continue to be
one of the professors evaluating her work. When plaintiff said
she did not wish to take any more classes with him, Dean Elkind
suggested she transfer to the counseling department. She assured
plaintiff she would facilitate the transition. Plaintiff took the
Dean's advice and began taking classes in the counseling
department. Plaintiff's own recollection of these events does not
support the claim that there was anything forced about the
Even if plaintiff had been "forced" to transfer into the
counseling department, she does not establish that the University
acted with discriminatory intent. There are other, race-neutral
reasons why the department may have wanted plaintiff to transfer
out of psychology. Indeed, the department might well have
concluded that plaintiff's poor academic record during her first
semester made her ill-qualified as a masters candidate in
Moreover, in order to support a claim of selective enforcement
of a school's policy, a plaintiff must allege "purposeful and
systematic discrimination by specifying instances in which [she
was] singled out for unlawful oppression in contrast to others
similarly situated." Albert v. Carovano, 851 F.2d 561, 573 (2d
Cir. 1988) (internal quotations omitted). Plaintiff does not
refer to even one specific instance in which a similarly situated
student was treated differently by the University.
It is assumed that Dr. Fudin did state that plaintiff was "in
the wrong department" and warned that plaintiff should not "come
in here [the psychology department] because if you do, you're
going to lose your credits." But these statements are too vague
to justify any plausible inference of a racially discriminatory
intent. Moreover, plaintiff shows no reasonable nexus between Dr.
Fudin's remarks in the hallway in July 1993 and his final
decision to give her a grade of C, the allegedly discriminatory
act. See, e.g., Ashton v. Pall Corp., 1999 WL 27481, at *8
(E.D.N.Y. Jan.15, 1999) (isolated comments cannot in and of
themselves make out a case of employment discrimination);
O'Connor v. Viacom, Inc., 1996 WL 194299, at *5 (S.D.N Y
Apr.23, 1996) ("Many courts have held that stray remarks in the
workplace, by themselves, and without a demonstrated nexus to the
complained of personnel actions, will not defeat the employer's
summary judgment motion").
In addition plaintiff has not refuted defendant's argument that
there is a legitimate, non-discriminatory explanation for Dr.
Fudin's action, namely, that the grade was a fair academic
assessment of the quality of plaintiff's paper.
A plaintiff cannot defeat a summary judgement motion by "the
mere incantation of [discriminatory] intent or state of mind."
Meiri v. Dacon, 759 F.2d 989, 998 (2d Cir. 1985). Defendant's
motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff's section 1981 claim
will be granted.
Plaintiff also makes a claim pursuant to section 601 of Title
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states: "No person in
the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or
national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program
or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance."
42 U.S.C. § 2000d.
In Guardians Ass'n v. Civil Serv. Com., 463 U.S. 582, 103
S.Ct. 3221, 77 L.Ed.2d 866 (1983), the Supreme Court held that
this provision prohibits only intentional discrimination. See
id. at 610-11, 103 S.Ct. at 3236-37 (opinion of Powell, J., in
which Burger, C.J., and Rehnquist, J., joined); New York Urban
League, Inc. v.
New York, 71 F.3d 1031, 1036 (2d Cir. 1995).
In addition, to succeed plaintiff must establish both that 1)
the entity involved is engaging in racial or national origin
discrimination and 2) the entity involved is receiving federal
financial aid. Scelsa v. City University of New York,
806 F. Supp. 1126, 1139 (S.D.N.Y. 1992).
As in her section 1981 claim, plaintiff has not established
intentional discrimination based on race. Moreover, Title VI
covers only those situations where "federal funding is given to a
non-federal entity which, in turn, provides financial assistance
to the ultimate beneficiary." Soberal-Perez v. Heckler,
717 F.2d 36, 38 (2d Cir. 1983). Plaintiff has not stated either in
the complaint or elsewhere in the record that defendant is a
recipient of federal financial aid.
Defendant's motion for summary judgment as to the 1981 claim
and the Title VI claim is granted. The court declines to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim.
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