Skip to main content

Catherine Parsons Smith Papers

 Collection
Identifier: AC 0341
The records in the collection cover the period of Catherine Parsons Smith's suit and include drafts, appeals, complaints, deposition, and settlement agreement. Included is Smith's research and personal comments, observations, and a "diary" kept before and during the litigation.

This collection also contains records of Smith's involvement in community and professional groups. Included are music department minutes and department concerns.

Series 1: Records, including statements, depositions, appeals, correspondence, and a personal diary of Smith's suit against the University of Nevada, Reno, for equal pay.

Series 2: Music Department Faculty Meeting minutes and other department records, 1969-1988; miscellaneous records of other university and community groups, including the Nevada Symphonic Association, 1970-1979; a Survey of Females on UNR Faculty, and the Equal Opportunity Board (re: Women's Athletics), 1979-1982.

Dates

  • 1957-1989

Creator

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

31.5 Cubic Feet (32 boxes)

Abstract

The records in the collection cover the period of Catherine Parsons Smith's suit and include drafts, appeals, complaints, deposition, and settlement agreement. Included is Smith's research and personal comments, observations, and a "diary" kept before and during the litigation.

This collection also contains records of Smith's involvement in community and professional groups. Included are music department minutes and department concerns.

Series 1: Records, including statements, depositions, appeals, correspondenc, and a personal diary of Smith's suit against the University of Nevada, Reno, for equal pay.

Series 2: Music Department Faculty Meeting minutes and other department records, 1969-1988; miscellaneous records of other university and community groups, including the Nevada Symphonic Association, 1970-1979; a Survey of Females on UNR Faculty, and the Equal Opportunity Board (re: Women's Athletics), 1979-1982.

Biographical Note

Dr. Catherine Parsons Smith began as a part-time lecturer in fall 1969. By 1972, when the University's first Affirmative Action statement was announced, Smith was teaching under a complicated multiple contract arrangement that equaled almost full time, but without equal compensation. She filed a complaint with the UNR Commission on the Status of Women claiming discrimination in hiring, promotion and pay in the Music Department. The complaint was denied and she appealed to the hearing committee of the UNR Commission on Human Relations. In 1975, Smith gave testimony before a joint meeting of the Senate and Assembly Judicial Committees of the Nevada Legislature, producing statistics she had compiled showing a failure of the Affirmative Action program at WNR. Following her complaints, Smith was terminated June 1975, and she responded by applying to the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor filed suit on behalf of Dr. Smith and three other faculty members under the Equal Pay Act. The suit, charging "willful discrimination" by the university was the first in the nation to use new federal equal pay laws by the Labor Department. Following this suit, Smith also filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against the Board of Regents, university president Max Milam, and Dean Robert Gorrell. Depositions were taken from Smith and Gorrell and an out-of-court settlement was reached.

Arrangement

The records are arranged in two series:

Box 1: Materials dealing with the sexual discrimination suit. Box 2: Professional organizations; university committees; music department.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Catherine Parsons Smith; 1994.
Title
Catherine Parsons Smith Papers
Status
completed
Author
Karen Gash
Date
Approximately 1995
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. University Archives Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno NV 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)