Texas A&M sued for hiring various professors as professor claims discrimination


A professor has sued Texas A&M University, alleging that a scholarship program aimed at boosting diversity discriminates against white and Asian men.

“These discriminatory, illegal and anti-meritocratic practices have been encouraged by woke ideologues who populate the so-called offices of diversity, equity and inclusion at public and private universities,” the lawsuit states.

Richard Lowery, who teaches finance at the University of Texas, filed the federal lawsuit Saturday against the Texas A&M University System and its board of trustees; Annie S. McGowan, vice president of Texas A&M and associate vice president for diversity; and NK Anand, Texas A&M vice president for faculty affairs.

Lowery wants relief as well as a court to appoint monitors to oversee Texas A&M’s hiring and diversity office. The professor is represented by attorneys from America First Legal, a conservative nonprofit organization committed to “fighting the radical and lawless agenda of the left” and headed by several former Trump administration officials.

The lawsuit notes that Lowery is “able and ready” to apply for a professorship at Texas A&M, but that the university’s “racial and sidelined preferences” prevent him “from competing with other applicants for those positions.” as a teacher on an equal footing.”

Texas A&M system spokesperson Laylan Copelin said in a statement that “it is an unusual candidacy when Mr. Lowery states in the lawsuit that he is ‘able and willing’ to apply for a faculty position at Texas A&M. But our attorneys will review the lawsuit, confer with Texas A&M, and take appropriate action, if necessary.

Shortly after the Department of Education recognized the university as a Hispanic-serving institution in July of last year, McGowan emailed the deans of Texas A&M announcing a new program for Hiring faculty through its Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship (ACES) Faculty Scholars Program. called ACES Plus – which exclusively targets “new mid-career and senior tenure-track hires from underrepresented minority groups, which help move the structural makeup of our faculty toward parity with that of the State of Texas “.

University officials have committed $2 million over the next two fiscal years to help match the base salary and benefits for scholarship recipients, up to a maximum of $100,000.

Texas A&M defines underrepresented minority groups as African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, according to the email.

In the lawsuit, Lowery claims the new faculty hiring program violates Titles VI and IX — which prohibit all forms of racial and gender discrimination at universities that receive federal funds — as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment.

On the Texas A&M website for ACES, the university states that it is “committed to creating a culturally diverse educational environment” and encourages “women, minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups” to apply. .

In the fall 2021 semester, approximately 60% of Texas A&M faculty were white. Almost 14% were international, only about 10% were Asian or Pacific Islander, about 6% were Latino, and just under 4% were black.

That same semester, over 53% of students were white, 22% were Latino, nearly 10% were Asian, and about 3% were black.

The DMN Education Lab deepens coverage and conversation about pressing education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, Garrett and Cecilia Boone, The Meadows Foundation, The Murrell Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University, Sydney Smith Hicks, Todd A. Williams Family Foundation and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of Education Lab journalism.

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