I work mainly on contemporary philosophy but with a speciality in the history of philosophy (including publications on a figure in that period). I joined a philosophy department in which a senior colleague had been for some years the only person in the department working in that period; he had not taught a graduate seminar on the author I specialize on for at least five years. Some graduate students came to me and asked me to do an independent study with them on a particular issue in the work of the figure I work on, and I agreed. Not long after the chair of the department came to me and said that I could teach the independent study, but it would have to be pass/fail rather than graded. When I asked why, the chair said that the senior male colleague didn’t want me to be allowed to teach the independent study at all and the chair had negotiated this compromise. I objected, calling attention to the fact that I was more up to date on the relevant literature than my colleague.
However, the chair strongly advised me to go along with it or there would be bad consequences, especially for my promotion. The students had to re-register for the pass/fail option.