Two White faculty members at historically Black Alabama State University have filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit against the university. The suit alleges the university uses race as the determining factor in both hiring faculty members and admitting students.
The suit alleges that faculty search committees have been told to only consider Black applicants and that “only Black professors should teach Black students.”
One of the two plaintiffs says that after he first made complaints, he was demoted and moved to an office that had no telephone, computer, bookshelves or filing cabinets. He says references to him were removed from the university’s website and he has not received campus mail for nearly three years.
The university denies that race played any role in the treatment of the two faculty members.
The suit also maintains that in 2013 only 20 percent of the Black applicants to the doctoral program in physical therapy met the academic requirements for admission. But 57 percent of the Black applicants were admitted. The suit alleges that 59 percent of the White applicants met the academic standards but only 32 percent were admitted.