Posted on September 13, 2022

Nation’s Largest Public University Hit With Class Action Suit Over Race-Based Hiring Practices

Aaron Sibarium, Washington Free Beacon, September 13, 2022

The largest public university in the United States is reserving faculty positions based on race and making six-figure bonuses available exclusively to minorities, programs that are now the subject of a class action lawsuit.

As part of a new initiative to attract “faculty of color,” Texas A&M University set aside $2 million in July to be spent on bonuses for “hires from underrepresented minority groups,” according to a memo from the university’s office of diversity. The max bonus is $100,000, and eligible minority groups are defined by the university to include “African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians.”

Another program, at the university’s Mays Business School, reserves certain slots on the faculty for the same minority groups, emails between Texas A&M professors show.

These explosive revelations form the basis for a class action complaint filed this weekend by the conservative nonprofit America First Legal. The plaintiff, a University of Texas at Austin finance professor named Richard Lowery, argues that the hiring programs violate three different civil rights laws: the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits race discrimination in contracting; Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race discrimination at federally funded universities; and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which bars public universities from using racial preferences in nearly all situations.

“University administrators think they can flout these federal statutes with impunity because no one ever sues them over their discriminatory faculty-hiring practices and the Department of Education looks the other way,” the lawsuit reads. {snip}