Texas A&M Rewards Diversity Booster With $1 Million Check After Failing to Hire Her

On August  3, 2023,  Texas A&M announced that it plans on paying $1 million to Kathleen McElroy after failing to hire her.  

According to Sydnie Henry of Texas Scorecard, McElroy is a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate who turned down A&M’s final job offer for the position of journalism director after the university modified her contract following public backlash. 

Texas A&M changed McElroy’s initial contract by subsequently offering her a one-year deal as a professor without tenure and a three-year appointment as the director of the journalism program. There was a particular emphasis that she could be fired at any time.

The TAMU Board of Regents then gave university officials the power to pursue a settlement with McElroy and instructed the system’s general counsel to investigate what took place. 

The Office of General Counsel publicly published the investigation’s results, which discovered that “significant mistakes were made in this hiring process, primarily due to a failure to follow established policies and procedures that govern faculty hiring.”  

In the OGC report, it detailed that in early May, university officials were aware that there would be concerns over McElroy’s appointment due to her track record in DEI. 

The report stated that former interim Dean Jose Bermudez told Department Head Hart Blanton, “Bottom line is the NYT connection is poor optics during this particular legislative session.” 

After Texas Scorecard covered McElroy’s appointment, “[TAMU President Kathy] Banks said that she received calls from 6-7 members of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents asking questions and raising concerns about McElroy’s hiring,” per the report. 

The regents previously received briefings on the provisions of SB 17 connected to DEI, which includes provisions mandating that the Board  annually certify that the bill’s requirements be fully carried out and confirm the System’s compliance with the legislation. Regents inquired about how McElroy’s promotion of DEI could be aligned with TAMU’s obligations under SB 17.

After McElroy’s offer letter was modified, Banks held a meeting with the TAMU Faculty Senate and denied having any prior knowledge about the changes made to the job offer.

Banks’ statements were proven to be false, and she resigned the next day. 

Because of the failed hiring, the OGC is now calling for “all faculty offer letters … require the signature of the Vice President of Faculty Affairs to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and to provide an effective oversight mechanism.”

On top of that, “Interim President Welsh has directed the Office for Faculty Affairs to create a task force to provide recommendations on appropriate protections for faculty in matters of faculty hiring and academic freedom.” 

In the meantime, McElroy will receive a $1 million payout and keep her in a tenured position at UT Austin. 

Henry noted that a board of regents — appointed by the Texas Governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate — oversees Texas A&M. 

The fact that Texas A&M was even considering hiring the likes of McElroy should be cause for concern. A&M is supposed to be a conservative institution that should not be dabbling with leftist ideas.

However, because of how the mainstream Right has allowed the Left to gain ground in many institutions such as Texas A&M,  the Left now has de facto monolithic control of so much of the permanent bureaucracy, education system, culture, business, and civil society.

Such developments will compel the Right to start rethinking its strategy and begin pursuing a much more holistic approach to political organization. At this point, we simply can’t allow for the Left to continue gaining ground. 

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