Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
COHEN v. ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
October 29, 1974
HELEN A. COHEN, PLAINTIFF,
ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, AN ILLINOIS NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLEN, District Judge.
Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for
failure to state a claim. The complaint alleges in substance
that the plaintiff was deprived of tenure and pay as an
associate professor because of her sex, in violation of her
rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States. The complaint is in three counts, Count I
for damages and other relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Count II
for damages and other relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), and
Count III as a pendent claim for damages and other relief under
the Illinois Constitution of 1970. We find and conclude that
the defendants' motion should be granted.
The complaint does not allege the equivalent of state action
within the meaning of § 1983, as applied in Burton v.
Wilmington Parking Authority, 365 U.S. 715, 81 S.Ct. 856, 6
L.Ed.2d 45 (1961). Plaintiff alleges that the following
circumstances in effect make I.I.T. the alter ego of the State
of Illinois (par. 8 of the Complaint):
(a) I.I.T. is organized under an Illinois statute
which directs the Superintendent of Public
Instruction to issue and revoke its certificate
to operate in the State.
No doubt this same regulatory duty is required of the
Superintendent with respect to all private educational
institutions in Illinois, but it does not follow from this
that such institutions are thereafter engaging in state
actions in everything which they do.
Furthermore, in this particular case, the several
requirements allegedly imposed by the Superintendent of Public
Instruction as a condition for a certificate do not concern
the hiring or tenure of teachers. Therefore it cannot be said
that the State of Illinois controls or is responsible for the
actions of I.I.T. toward the plaintiff within the meaning of
Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, supra.
(b) By its name, the Institute implies that it is
part of the University system of the State of
Illinois. This alleged implication certainly does
not make I.I.T. an agency of the State.
(c) The Superintendent of Public Instruction has
delegated the accreditation of curricula and
faculties to the North Central Association of
Colleges and Secondary Schools, which thereupon
accredits I.I.T. This allegation adds nothing to
support subparagraph (a), above, except possibly
to raise the question of the lack of a necessary
(e) The State of Illinois "controls" certain
undergraduate programs at I.I.T., including some
in plaintiff's department, as a condition for
training and certifying secondary school
(f) The State of Illinois "controls" certain
other programs at I.I.T. which lead to a degree
of Bachelor of Science.
(g) The State of Illinois (and the City of
Chicago) control certain undergraduate programs
for training and certification of secondary
(h) Graduate students at I.I.T. participate in
mental health internships with various state
agencies of the State of Illinois as part of
their academic training.
(i) I.I.T. conducts seminars in cooperation with
the State of Illinois (although this is not
alleged to involve ...
Buy This Entire Record For