Columbia biz journalism professor wants nearly $1 million from university

by
Sylvia Nasar

Sylvia Nasar, who teaches business journalism at Columbia University, is seeking nearly $1 million in pay she claims she has not received from the university, writes Joe Pompeo of Capital New York.

Pompeo writes, “And in a summons served to the university this week, she’s seeking $923,000 and accusing the school of underpaying her from funds dedicated to her compensation package from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“The summons was provided by a source to Capital. A complaint has not yet been filed.

“‘The nature of this action and the relief sought is to recover damages for breach of contractual duties owed to plaintiff as a third-party beneficiary, unjust enrichment and conversion, arising out of the diversion of funds accruing for the benefit of plaintiff pursuant to an endowment grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation dated Sept. 17, 1998,’ reads the summons, which was filed by Nasar’s attorney in New York State Supreme Court on Jan. 7.

“The attorney, Mark Lawless, said he was ‘not in a position to comment at this point.’ A spokesperson for Columbia declined to comment. An email to Nasar was not returned Thursday afternoon.

“Nasar was the first Knight Professor of business journalism at the journalism school, and co-directs the master of arts program in the field with James Stewart, according to her bio page. She’s been employed by Columbia since 2000; the funds from the Knight endowment are separate from her core salary.”

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