The University of Missouri has settled two lawsuits brought by a UMKC professor who said he was the victim of retaliation after he reported alleged abuses by another professor, according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
The legal publication said the university has agreed to pay $360,000 to Mridul Mukherji to resolve the lawsuits. The publication said it obtained the information through a public records request.
Mukherji, an associate professor at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, claimed he faced discrimination and harassment after reporting to UMKC that another pharmacy professor, Ashim Mitra, had exploited students for free labor.
The Kansas City Star reported last year that Mitra, over the course of his 25-year career at UMKC, had pressured Indian students into performing domestic chores for him, on pain of losing their visas. Mitra is from India.
The university is suing Mitra, his wife and two drug companies, accusing them of defrauding the university of at least $1.5 million by stealing a student’s research and selling it.
Mitra, who has denied the claim, has since resigned from the university.
Mukherji, who is also from India, alleged in one lawsuit that after he complained about Mitra, his pay was reduced. He added claims of race discrimination, disability discrimination, hostile work environment and conspiracy in a second lawsuit.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that Christian Basi, a spokesman for the university, said the cases were “resolved to both parties’ satisfaction.”
KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.