At the end of May, Willamette University made the difficult decision to discontinue women’s varsity rowing following careful consideration of all feasible options to maintain the program. Willamette issued an official statement in July, followed by a progress update on athletics from Vice President Ed Whipple sent via the Bearcat Bulletin in August.
A group of rowers challenged the University’s decision to discontinue women’s rowing. They requested that the court issue an injunction and order the university to reinstate the rowing program.
Last week, after a two day hearing, the judge assigned to the case denied the plaintiffs’ request, finding that the university acted in good faith to review alternate options before making the decision to discontinue rowing.
Willamette will continue to move forward with the process of selecting another varsity women’s sport while continuing to strengthen gender equity through a host of related initiatives.