Posted on March 28, 2024

Jack Buck’s Daughter Wins $750,000 in Discrimination Suit Against Harris-Stowe

Katie Kull, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 22, 2024

A St. Louis jury awarded $750,000 Friday to a former Harris-Stowe State University theater and speech instructor who claimed racial and gender discrimination, finding she faced a hostile work environment at the school before she retired in 2017.

Beverly Buck Brennan, the daughter of St. Louis Cardinals broadcasting legend Jack Buck and sister of national broadcaster Joe Buck, said she would donate to the Harris-Stowe theater department with the award.


Attorneys for Brennan argued during a five-day trial that university leaders made a job she loved nearly impossible by cutting her budget, reducing her class load and subjecting her and other female teachers to unfair treatment between 2010 and 2016.


Brennan was one of more than a dozen people to sue Harris-Stowe since 2012. Several of those lawsuits are still pending, but in others, juries have ruled in favor of the school. Some cases have been dismissed. In 2017, Beverly Wilkins, a white former professor, was awarded nearly $5 million after an appeals court upheld a jury’s ruling that she was repeatedly passed over for promotions and eventually fired “because of the color of her skin.”

The university, one of two historically Black colleges in the state, also has come under fire in recent years amid declining enrollment. The school has a graduation rate of 12%, and was also put “on notice” by a national accreditor.


She said she was happy at Harris-Stowe until around 2010 when leadership changed. A new dean took over the School of Arts and Sciences, and she said she noticed changes.

Her projects stopped being approved. Her budget was cut. There was a threat of reducing classes, she said. In meetings with the faculty, Brennan and others said the new Arts and Sciences dean, Lateef Adelani, would shout women down when they tried to make suggestions.