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Jury finds historically black university discriminated against white professor, awards her $4.85M

A white instructor at a St. Louis-based historically black university who was continually passed over for promotion and then laid off before her black peers has won nearly $5 million in a discrimination lawsuit, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.

A St. Louis Circuit Court jury has awarded a former Harris-Stowe State University instructor $4.85 million after finding that the historically black university discriminated against the instructor because she is white.

The suit, filed in 2012, zeroes in on one particular administrator, accusing her of subscribing to the “Black Power” mantra and working systematically to purge Harris-Stowe’s College of Education of white faculty. …

The lawsuit alleges that Harris-Stowe failed to follow its own policy when the school skipped over several black faculty members and dismissed [white Professor Beverly] Wilkins instead. The lawsuit goes on to say that the entire department was purged of white faculty except one white instructor who was protected by tenure.

Conversely, the only black faculty member fired from the College of Education during the same time was not terminated because of the reduction-in-force policy, but rather because he was found to be a sex offender, the lawsuit says.

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