United States District Court, D. Maryland
EDWARD J. DANIAL
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Catherine C. Blake, United States District Judge
Edward J. Danial brought this suit against his employer,
Morgan State University, alleging discrimination on the basis
of race and retaliation in violation of Title VII of . the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") and breach
of contract. The defendant has moved to dismiss five of the
eight claims brought by Mr. Danial. Mr. Danial has filed a
motion to file a surreply. The issues in this case have been
fully briefed, and no hearing is necessary. See Local R.
105.6. For the reasons stated below, the motion to dismiss
will be granted and the motion to file a surreply will be
Danial identifies as white, and was employed as a contractual
math professor by Morgan State University ("MSU"),
a historically black institution, for twenty years. (Compl.
Ex. 2 at 1.) For much of that time, his contract was renewed
automatically without requiring reapplication. (Id.)
Mr. Danial's claims relate to a series of incidents that
occurred over the course of his more recent employment.
Danial alleges that the then-department chair, Dr. Earl
Barnes, asked him to teach an additional course in Spring
2010. (Id. at 13.) This request allegedly was made
in December 2009, shortly before the start of the semester.
Mr. Danial did not sign a contract regarding this course, but
believed he would be paid $5, 600 for teaching it.
(Id.) On March 16, 2010, after the semester had
begun, he was offered a contract with $3, 300 in payment for
one graduate course he was teaching. (Id. at 13-14.)
He refused the offer, arguing that "the graduate course
in the past always counted as two undergraduate courses; and
hence I should be paid" $5, 600. (Id. at 14.)
Mr. Danial never reached an agreement regarding payment for
this course, so he never signed a contract regarding payment.
(Id. at 13-14.)
April 2013, MSU advertised tenure-track positions. Mr. Danial
submitted an application for a tenure-track position on
October 28, 2013. He was not selected. A faculty member Mr.
Danial identifies as African American was selected for a
tenure-track position, although Mr. Danial claims she had
less experience than he did and did not make "much
contribution to the department." (Id. at 12.)
Fall 2013, Dr. Alvin Kennedy, the new Dean of the School of
Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, announced that
faculty would be required to reapply for their positions at
the expiration of their current one-year contracts.
(Id.) This announcement was repeated by Dr. Asamoah
Nkwanta, the Chair of the Mathematics Department.
(Id. at 2.)
end of the Fall 2013 semester, Dr. Nkwanta announced to six
of the twenty-one math faculty members, including Mr. Danial,
that their contracts might be cancelled for the Spring 2014
semester. One of the six was black. Only one of the six, a
white faculty member, actually had his contract cancelled for
the Spring 2014 semester. Allegedly, black faculty with less
experience were not notified that their contracts might be
cancelled, nor were their contracts actually cancelled.
April 21, 2014, Mr. Danial submitted an application to be the
Director of the Actuarial Science Program. He claims that he
"buil[t the] actuarial science major and minor" and
"built much of the courses to those programs."
(Id. at 13.) Also in Spring 2014, faculty were told
to submit their resumes to reapply for their positions for
Fall 2014. Mr. Danial submitted his resume with supporting
documentation on April.25, 2014. (Id. at 3.) His
application was rejected on July 25, 2014. Mr. Danial alleges
that similarly situated faculty had their contracts renewed.
He requested a reason for, his rejection from Dr. Nkwanta,
but says none was given. He was allegedly offered a part-time
lecturer position and told to return on August 4, 2014 to
finalize his courses as a part-time lecturer.
29, 2014, Mr. Danial met with Dean Kennedy and requested a
reason for his rejection. (Id. at 4.) Mr. Kennedy
said he did not meet the department's current needs,
which Mr. Danial contested. At this meeting, Mr. Danial
allegedly informed Dean Kennedy that he believed the
notification of the possibility of contract cancellation made
to 5 white and 1 black faculty members in Fall 2013 was
discrimination. (Id.) The same day, Mr. Danial met
with Tanyka Barber, the MSU Equal Employment Opportunity
Office Coordinator ("EEO Coordinator"), and raised
his concerns regarding discrimination in his
application's rejection and the Fall 2013 notices.
August 4, 2014, Mr. Danial met with Dr. Nkwanta,' who
refused to hire him for a part-time position. (Id.
at 8-9.) Mr. Danial contacted Ms. Barber and claimed this
denial was in retaliation for his allegation of
discrimination. He then filed a form and supporting
documentation outlining his discrimination allegations with
Ms. Barber on August 6, 2014. (Id.) Later in August
2014, Mr. Danial learned more about two new faculty hires in
the math department. He identifies these individuals as black
and claims they have less experience than he does. (Compl.
Ex. 2 at 5-6.) In Fall 2014, Dr. Traci Allotey, whom Mr.
Danial also identifies as black, was hired for the Director
of Actuarial Science position.
Danial continued to discuss his complaint with Ms. Barber
into January 2015. (See Suppl. Ex.BXI, EGF No. 47-3.
(emails exchanged between Mr. Danial and Ms. Barber during
January 2015).) He filed a charge of discrimination with the
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights regarding the alleged
hiring discrimination and retaliation on February 4, 2015.
(Id. at 6; Compl. Ex. 4, Copies of the EEOC/MCCR
Charges at 2-3, ECF No. 1-5.) Mr. Danial claims that
"the MSU EEO office did not provide any written
procedure to conduct a discrimination complaint" and
that he discussed the lack of procedures with Ms. Barber and
her supervisor, Amanda Grant, on February 4, 2015.
(Id. at 10.) He claims to have filed charges
relating to the lack of written guidelines on February 10,
2015, relating to the denial of promotion to Director of the
Actuarial Science Program on February 19, 2015, and regarding
the denial of his tenure-track application on February 25,
2015. (Id.) In late March 2015, Mr. Danial located
discrimination guidelines on the MSU website. (Id.
Danial alleges in his complaint that Ms. Barber never
responded to his hiring complaint, and that he complained to
Ms. Grant about this on February 4, 2015. (Id. at
11.) He states that Ms. Barber "repeatedly avoided
addressing my complaint, over 3 periods by now, by repeated
lies and avoiding me face-to-face in any mediation meetings
at MCCR." (Id. at 12.) He has acknowledged in
later filings in this case, however, that the claim was
investigated. (Compare Id. at 9 with Am. Suppl.
Resp. Opp. Mot. D at 25, ECF No. 48.)
Danial had also been employed by the CAS A Program in the
summers. On March 18, 2015, Mr. Danial asked the director of
the program to consider him for Summer 2015 employment with
the CASA Program. (Compl. Ex. 2 at 15.) On May 20, 2015, his
request was denied. (Id.) When asked for a reason,
he was told enrollment was too low. On the same phone call he
learned that the program had recently hired a
less-credentialed individual whom Mr. Danial identifies as
black. On May 26, 2015, Mr. Danial contacted the program
director's supervisor and alleged racial discrimination
in their decision not to hire him. (Id.) On July 8,
2015, Mr. Danial again contacted the program director and her
supervisor claiming that another "black faculty with far
less teaching experience and academic credentials, namely Ms.
Renu Ahuja (black from Indian origin)" had been hired
over him. (Id. at 16.) He received no response. Mr.
Danial believes he was not hired for the CASA program in
retaliation for his discrimination claims regarding the Math
department. (Id.) On July 18, 2015, Mr. Danial filed
a formal charge of discrimination regarding the CASA program
with the MCCR. (Id. at 16; Compl. Ex. 4 at 4-5.)
Danial also applied for positions with the Math Department in
Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 and was denied. (Compl. Ex. 2 at 8.)
He applied to the CASA Program again in 2016 and 2017 and was
also denied. (Id. at 16.) On January 4, 2017 and
January 18, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
issued notices of right to sue regarding the Math Department
hiring discrimination claim and the CASA Program
discrimination claim, respectively.
April 6, 2017, Mr. Danial filed suit against Morgan State
University and the MSU president, David Wilson, in this
court. (Compl., ECF No. 1). He alleges discrimination in
violation of Title VII, breach of contract, and violation of
his freedom of speech. Specifically, his eight claims are:
"(1) Discrimination in Hiring; (2) Retaliation for
Charging Discrimination; (3) Lack of Written Guidelines for
Investigating Discrimination Claims; (4) Failure to Address a
Discrimination Complaint; (5) Discrimination in Failing to
Convert Him to Tenure Track; (6) Discrimination in Failing to
Promote Him to Director of the Actuarial Science Program; (7)
Breach of Contract For Failure to Pay an Amount of $5,
600.00; and (8) Discrimination and Retaliation in Failing to
Hire Him for the CASA Program." (Memo. Supp. Mot. D. at
1-2; see generally Compl. Ex. 2.) On December 21,
2017, MSU filed a motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative
for summary judgment as to claims 3, A, 5, 6, and
(ECF No. 34.) Mr. Danial filed his opposition on January 8,
2018 (ECF No. 42), filed ...