Shortly after being granted tenure last year, Brian K. Mitchell, an associate professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, filed an employment discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the university.
The suit claimed that “Dr. Mitchell has experienced a nearly continuous pattern of discriminatory interference with achieving access to fair terms, conditions, and opportunities for advancement. These egregious, on-going acts of interference by senior UALR administrators began with Dr. Mitchell’s initial hiring negotiations, continued with unfair and improper evaluations, escalated when he reported discrimination concerns, and finally culminated with harassment and retaliation through official grievance and research oversight procedures.”
Now Dr. Mitchell has resigned from his faculty position at the university. His resignation later, which he posted online said that “I am resigning my position because I no longer feel safe, professionally or physically, at the university. My fears are rooted in the widely held belief that the university’s social climate is one of pervasive and entrenched systemic racism and discrimination, and that the administration has dedicated itself to covering up the acts of those that participate in harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.”
Dr. Mitchell told JBHE that “it breaks my heart.” He has accepted a research position outside of the academy.
Dr. Mitchell is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. His research interests include African American antebellum history, free Black communities, the Elaine Massacre, and urban history. Dr. Mitchell has taught at the university since 2006 and has served on the full-time faculty since 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of New Orleans.