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Class action lawsuit against Texas A&M alleges that the university's diversity initiative constitutes discriminatory hiring based on race and sex

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Richard Lowery, a finance professor, filed a lawsuit against Texas A&M this week for implementing a faculty fellowship program that reserves positions based on race and sex, reported the Dallas Morning News.

America First Legal, a conservative nonprofit organization, is representing Lowery in the class action complaint against the nation's largest university.

The lawsuit argued that the new hiring programs implemented by the school violated several civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, all of which prohibit racial discrimination.

In July, Texas A&M announced in a memo that it would set aside $2 million for faculty bonuses for "hires from underrepresented minority groups." The memo defined underrepresented people as "African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians."

Another program reserves faculty-hiring lines for "underrepresented" people applying for a position at the university. The lawsuit cited an email from a faculty member at the university's Mays Business School who confirmed that the school was reserving positions based on race and sex.

The Dallas Morning News reported that in the 2021 fall semester, the university faculty was 60% white. Texas A&M's website states that it is "committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment" and strongly encourages applications from minorities.

Richard Lowery, a finance professor at the University of Texas at Austin, expressed in the lawsuit that he is "able and ready" to apply for a position at Texas A&M. However, the case argued that the current hiring policies prevent Lowery "from competing with other applicants for these faculty positions on an equal basis."

Lowery's lawsuit accused the new hiring practices of discriminating against white and Asian men, blaming "woke ideologues." The professor filed the case on behalf of "all white and Asian men."

Texas A&M system spokesperson Laylan Copelin said that "it's an unusual job application when Mr. Lowery says in the lawsuit he is 'able and ready' to apply for a faculty appointment at Texas A&M. But our lawyers will review the lawsuit, confer with Texas A&M and take appropriate action as warranted."

Lowery hopes the case will stop Texas A&M from continuing to implement discriminatory hiring practices. The lawsuit also seeks for the university to appoint a court monitor to ensure the school's diversity office does not violate civil rights laws in the future.

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