The opinion of the court was delivered by: Castillo, Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Pamela Tucker sues Defendant Loyola University of Chicago
("Loyola") for race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq.*fn1 Ms. Tucker alleges that
Loyola discriminated against her in connection with her separation from
employment as the Director of Administrative Services at Loyola.
Currently before the Court is Loyola's motion for summary judgment.
Because Ms. Tucker cannot establish a prima facie f case of race
discrimination or demonstrate that Loyola's reason for taking adverse
employment action against her was pretextual, Loyola's motion for summary
judgment is granted. (R. 11-1.)
On April 20, 1998, Ms. Tucker began working as the Director of
Administrative Services in the Assistant Treasurer's Office at Loyola.
Ms. Tucker is African-American and was forty-nine years old when she was
hired by Loyola. Cynthia Redman, Loyola's Vice President for Finance and
the Assistant Treasurer, hired Ms. Tucker and was her immediate
supervisor when Ms. Tucker was employed by Loyola. Ms. Redman is
Caucasian. Ms. Tucker was employed as Loyola's Director of Administrative
Services from April 20, 1998 through November 3, 2000.
According to Loyola, Ms. Tucker's work performance and the quality of
her work product began to decline in the summer of 1999. Ms. Tucker's
work performance problems included missing deadlines, incomplete work and
not following up on projects as assigned. (R. 11, Def's Facts ¶¶
29-30.) Furthermore, Ms. Tucker "exhibited a bad attitude and did not
exhibit a positive customer services approach to addressing issues and
problems with people at [Loyola]." (Id. at ¶ 32.) Ms. Redman verbally
warned Ms. Tucker about her work performance deficiencies. (Id. at ¶
31.) Ms. Tucker denies that her work performance declined, that she
exhibited a bad attitude or that she was warned by Ms. Redman regarding
performance problems. (R. 19, Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Facts ¶¶ 29-32.)
In the fall of 1999, Ms. Redman began having weekly meetings with Ms.
Tucker to discuss new tasks as well as tasks outstanding from prior
meetings. Ms. Redman initially saw improvement in Ms. Tucker's work
performance. She stated, however, that the improvement ceased after a
couple of months, at which time notwithstanding the weekly meetings
— Ms. Redman noticed an increase in incomplete assignments, poor
work quality and missed deadlines. Ms. Redman noted that the heads of the
departments for whom Ms. Tucker worked complained to her about Ms. Tucker
not returning calls and e-mails and exhibiting poor work performance and
attitude. Ms. Tucker expressed concern regarding her workload to Ms.
Redman and stressed that she felt she had too much work to do. (Id. at
In early 2000, Ms. Redman assumed Ms. Tucker's responsibilities for the
mail rooms because she felt that Ms. Tucker was unable to complete the
work that needed to be done in this area. Additionally, Ms. Redman
assumed Ms. Tucker's duties regarding printing services, and Ms. Redman
reduced Ms. Tucker's bookstore duties.*fn3 Despite the decline in
responsibilities, Ms. Tucker's salary was never reduced. (R. 11, Def.'s
Facts ¶ 88; R. 19, Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Facts ¶ 88.) Rather,
Ms. Redman recommended that Ms. Tucker receive a raise in her salary in
both 1999 and 2000.
Prior to the creation of the Director of Administrative Services
position for which Ms. Tucker was hired, there was a Purchasing Manager
position at Loyola. The Director of Administrative Services position was
created to encompass the duties of the Purchasing Manager as well as a
number of other functions. Because Ms. Tucker was not performing all of
the functions of the Director of Administrative Services position, Ms.
Redman and Janet Gibbs, the Senior Vice President for Finance, decided to
revive the Purchasing Manager position and to offer it to Ms. Tucker. In
October 2000, Ms. Redman presented Ms. Tucker with three options
regarding her employment at Loyola. One option was to remain in the
revised and re-graded position of Purchasing Manager with a nine percent
reduction in salary. The second option was to remain in her position as
Director of Administrative Services at her current salary for three
months, at which time her employment would be terminated. The third
option was that Ms. Tucker could leave her position by November 10, 2001,
and receive severance pay equivalent to eight weeks of her salary. Ms.
Tucker chose to accept the third option, and notified Loyola's Director
of Human Services that her resignation would be effective on November 1,
2000. (R. 11, Def.'s Facts ¶ 87; R. 19, Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Facts
Ms. Tucker contends that Ms. Redman informed her that Ms. Gibbs had
hand-picked Ms. Tucker's successor prior to Ms. Tucker leaving Loyola.
(R. 18, Pl.'s Add'l Facts ¶ 7.) Loyola, however, disputes this
contention, (R. 20, Def's Reply to Pl.'s Add'l Facts ¶ 7), and
maintains that Ms. Gibbs selected Ms. Tucker's successor after Ms. Tucker
resigned. (R. 11, Def.'s Facts ¶ 91). Ms. Tucker's successor, Tim
MeGuirman — a Caucasian and a current employee at Loyola —
was selected by internal promotion to serve as the Director of
On March 14, 2001, Ms. Tucker filed a complaint against Loyola
asserting claims of race discrimination in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and age discrimination in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act Presently before the Court is Loyola's
motion for summary judgment, filed on October 11, 2001. After carefully
reviewing the facts of this case, we grant Loyola's motion.
Summary judgment is proper only when the record shows there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine
issue for trial exists when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The Court must view the evidence in
a light most favorable to the nomnoving party and draw all inferences in
the nonmovant's favor. Crim v. Ed, of Educ. of Cairo Sch. Dist No. 1,
147 F.3d 535, 540 (7th Cir. 1998). The Court, however, need not defeat a
motion for summary judgment due to "the mere existence of some alleged
factual dispute between the parties," Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 247, or
the existence of "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts."
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). Moreover, in considering a motion for summary judgment, we need
not assume the truth of a nonmovant's conclusory allegations on faith or
scour the record to unearth factual disputes. Carter v. Am. Oil Co.,
139 F.3d 1158, 1163 (7th Cir. 1998). Ultimately, this
Court must decide
"whether the state of evidence is such that, if the case were tried
tomorrow, the plaintiff would have a fair chance of obtaining a verdict."
Palucki v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 879 F.2d 1568, 1573 (7th Cir. 1989).
Weighing evidence and making credibility decisions are jury functions,
however, not those of the judge deciding a motion for summary judgment
See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255. ...