Berklee College of Music trumpet professor Susan Fleet filed a sex discrimination suit against the school with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Fleet is charging the school with repeatedly passing her up for promotion to associate professor because of her sex.
Fleet began teaching at Berklee in 1988 as an assistant professor. In 1994 she began requesting promotion to associate professor. A male graduate of Berklee was hired to the position instead. In 1996, another male Berklee graduate was hired to a position higher in rank and salary than Fleet.
Berklee lawyer Paul Lyons stated that Fleet was passed over because she was trained and played in a classical style whereas the school is known for its contemporary repertory.
Twenty-two percent of the students at Berklee are female, compared with a near 50 percent ratio at other prestigious music schools. The faculty is 19 percent female, 7 percent of whom are full-time, and only 17 percent of the senior faculty are women.