Last Updated on July 30, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Texas A&M University Board Meets to Consider Settlement with Controversial Hire
In a major development, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents is scheduled to convene to discuss a potential settlement with Kathleen McElroy, a Black journalism professor who declined a position at the university following changes to her job offer caused by pressure from conservative groups. The mishandling of McElroy’s hiring process has already resulted in the resignation of several administrators, including the university president.
The precise details about any legal claims brought forward by McElroy against A&M remain unclear. However, if authorized by the board, the university could enter settlement discussions with her. Additionally, the Board of Regents plans to appoint an interim president for A&M following the departure of M. Katherine Banks, who resigned amid widespread public criticism of the botched hiring process.
Taking over as acting president until a national search can be conducted for a permanent replacement is Mark A. Welsh III, the dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Welsh will oversee the university’s operations and lead efforts to restore stability after the controversy surrounding McElroy’s employment.
Originally hired to revitalize A&M’s journalism program, McElroy’s job offer was altered multiple times due to pressure exerted by conservative groups. These changes sparked concerns among faculty members who have criticized the administration’s decision-making process for lacking transparency.
The Board of Regents is poised to consult with A&M System attorneys to explore the possibility of reaching an agreement with McElroy. This has significant implications since the outcome of these discussions could determine the future of the university’s relationship with the professor and its commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion.
Furthermore, the mishandled hiring has repercussions beyond the resignation of the university president. Two deans have announced their intention to step down in light of the controversy, underscoring the growing dissatisfaction among faculty members with the administration’s handling of the situation.
As the public eagerly awaits the outcome of the Board of Regents meeting, the university community and stakeholders will be closely monitoring the discussions and looking to understand how A&M will address the concerns raised by this incident.
It remains to be seen what steps will be taken by Texas A&M University to rectify the missteps that led to this unfortunate situation and rebuild trust within its ranks.