Senior Judge Constance Baker Motley found Vassar guilty of discrimination against former biology professor Cynthia Fisher when it failed to promote her to associate professor in 1985.  The college was ordered to reinstate Fisher and review her again after two years; the court also awarded Fisher $626,876.12 in damages.  Vassar’s attorney, John Donohue said that the decision was “a shock to the college.”

Judge Motley’s decision was reversed in 1995 by the Second Circuit of the New York State Court of Appeals.