The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff claims that Defendant unlawfully discriminated
against him on the basis of his national origin (American) and
his sex (male) in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000-e et seq., Title IX of the Education
Law, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and the New York State
Executive Law § 290 et seq. ("Human Rights Law"). See
Complaint at ¶ 5.
Plaintiff, a former graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute ("RPI"), sued RPI in state court for allegedly
discriminating against him based on his national origin and
gender in conjunction with his taking of the preliminary
examination for his doctoral degree. Defendant removed the
action from the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the
County of Rensselaer to federal district court.
Plaintiff was a graduate student at RPI in the Material
Sciences Department from January 1997 to August 1999. See id.
at ¶ 12. During that time, Plaintiff worked as a graduate
teaching assistant ("TA"). Plaintiff asserts that his
evaluations as a TA were uniformly good. See id. at ¶ 23. The
problems arose when Plaintiff failed his preliminary examination
for the third time in April 1999.
Plaintiff had failed the oral portion of his candidacy
examination, for the first time, in February 1998. He took the
oral portion of the examination again in October 1998 and again,
before the same committee, failed. He was allowed to register
for Ph.D. credits for the spring 1999 semester but was told he
must take the examination again. He did so on April 1, 1999, and
claims that two of the four members of the committee verbally
assured him that he had passed the examination. On April 8,
1999, however, Plaintiff asserts that the other two members of
the committee told him that he had failed the examination. See
id. at ¶¶ 22-31. The reasons purportedly offered were that
Plaintiff was nervous and had "failed to answer the most
elementary questions." Id. Plaintiff claims that the committee
members were "rude and intimidating during the examination."
See id. at ¶ 38.*fn1
Subsequent to Plaintiffs failing the oral examination for the
third time, Dr. Seigel, the Chairman of the Department, informed
Plaintiff that he had no recourse except to drop out of the
program.*fn2 See id. at ¶ 44. Plaintiff then scheduled a
meeting with the Dean of Students and Dr. Seigel. That meeting
took place on April 26, 1999.*fn3 Subsequent to that meeting,
on May 11, 1999, Plaintiff claims that the Dean of Students told
him that he would not be permitted to take the examination
again. See id. at ¶ 59. Plaintiff claims that after this
meeting he continued to conduct
research and perform his duties as a TA.*fn4 See id. at ¶
Plaintiff, after working as a TA in the summer and having his
research presented at an International Meeting, again asked the
Dean of the Engineering School to consider his request for a
modified preliminary examination. See id. at ¶ 70. On August
31, 1999, the Dean again refused to consider Plaintiffs request.
See id. at ¶ 71. Plaintiff left RPI in August 1999 to take a
job in Ohio. See id. at ¶ 73. Since that final denial of
Plaintiffs request, there has been no contact between Plaintiff
and Defendant. See id. at ¶ 72.
Plaintiff filed a charge with the EEOC and NYSDHR on February
8, 2000. The EEOC issued a right-to-sue letter on March 8, 2000,
finding that Plaintiffs claims were not timely. See Pl.'s
Complaint at ¶¶ 7-8. After receiving the right-to-sue letter,
Plaintiff commenced the present action.
Plaintiffs claims of discrimination are based on his assertion
that he has been prevented from attaining his doctoral degree
because of Defendant's refusal to provide him a fair and
equitable preliminary examination based on his national origin
and sex. See id. at ¶¶ 79-80. Plaintiff alleges that although
other students were given opportunities to retake the
examination he was not. Specifically, he alleges that a female
student was allowed to take the oral portion in a written format
since she was too nervous to perform well on the oral portion.
See id. at ¶ 48. He also alleges that a foreign student was
allowed to take the examination a third time before a different
committee. See id. at ¶ 49. Furthermore, he alleges that
another foreign student was allowed to teach a course in lieu of
repeating the examination. See id. at ¶ 50. Finally, Plaintiff
argues that Defendant's refusal to provide him with a fair
examination cost him his job at RPI and impaired his future
career possibilities. See id. at ¶ 83.
Plaintiff seeks an injunction ordering Defendant to cease its
discriminatory treatment of Plaintiff. He specifically seeks
reinstatement as a Ph.D. candidate and requests the fair
administration of the preliminary examination. Plaintiff also
seeks compensatory damages for pain, suffering, humiliation, and
loss of professional reputation, punitive damages and attorneys'
Presently before the Court are Defendant's motion, pursuant to
Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss the
action and Plaintiffs motion to amend his complaint to include
claims under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,*fn5
42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., and state contract law. The Court heard oral
argument in support of, and in opposition to, these motions on
December 8, 2000. At that time, the Court denied Plaintiffs
motion to amend his complaint to allege causes of action under
Title VI and state contract law and granted Plaintiff leave to
amend his complaint with respect to his Title IX claim.*fn6 ...