The suit was filed this month in Hinds County Circuit Court, The Clarion-Ledger reports.
Roseann Buck was hired in 2010 as executive director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2011. A year later, Buck says she was told her contract wouldn't be renewed. University employees who aren't professor's work on year-to-year contracts.
Buck says her supervisor gave her the lowest possible ratings on her last job evaluation, even though she increased ticket sales, improved the theater's condition and didn't take extra time off for treatment.
A university spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
The lawsuit claims the university's actions were "intentional malicious and taken in reckless disregard of the statutory rights" of Buck. It says Buck suffered lost wages, benefits "and other pecuniary loss as well as deep pain, humiliation, anxiety and emotional distress."
Buck asked twice a university hearing on her nonrenewal but was denied. According to College Board policy, hearings may be held when universities nonrenew nonfaculty members, but are not required.
Buck's salary was $78,540.
The lawsuit says Delta State broke various federal laws. Buck seeks reinstatement to her job or pay in lieu of reinstatement, as well as back pay, lost benefits, interest and other costs. Those could include compensatory and punitive damages granted by a jury.
Buck's predecessor, David Dallas, was dismissed in 2009. The director appealed the decision amid public complaints. After review, DSU President John Hilpert reinstated him. Dallas left on his own a few months later.