Records: Ex-IPFW chancellor, Purdue settled suit for $52,500

April 15, 2015

Documents say Purdue University paid $52,500 to a former Fort Wayne campus chancellor in a settlement over an age discrimination lawsuit.

Michael Wartell, who was chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was forced to retire at age 65 in 2012 as part of a little-used policy on retirement age for high-level administrators. In 2013 he sued Purdue, which oversees the Fort Wayne campus.

The terms of the settlement that was reached in February were obtained by The Journal Gazette through a Freedom of Information Act request. Details hadn't been disclosed in court documents.

After being told he'd have to retire, Wartell had asked to remain chancellor at the Fort Wayne campus through the 2013-14 academic year. But his request was turned down. He filed an internal complaint, saying Purdue's president at the time, France Córdova, discriminated against him based on his age and gender and that she had a personal hostility toward him.

Purdue asked Indianapolis attorney John Trimble to look into Wartell's claims. But the school denied Wartell access to Trimble's report. The school's board of trustees saw it and denied the claim made by Wartell.

Purdue officials say the school paid more than $160,000 in legal fees to keep Trimble's report secret. A federal judge ordered the release of the report in September, and it came out a few weeks after the lawsuit was settled. The report said Purdue didn't discriminate, but left open the door for litigation.


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