University Sued for Allegedly Demoting Staffer Due to Race

University Official Suing School for Diversity Demotion

A university official in Wisconsin has filed a federal lawsuit against her employer after she was allegedly demoted from a diversity-related position due to her race. Rochelle Hoffman, an employee at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, claims that she was sidelined because of being white, as per the New York Post.

Hoffman’s lawsuit includes the Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt, and Assistant Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Teresa O’Halloran as defendants, as reported by Wisconsin Public Radio. The suit alleges that criticism from certain faculty members over the “optics” of the situation created a hostile work environment.

According to the suit, Hoffman was made to resign from her interim director position at the school’s Multicultural Student Services office last year. She claims that she was subjected to constant workplace hostility and racial harassment during her time in the role.

Despite her qualifications, students, faculty, and staff opposed her appointment to the position because she was white, argued Hoffman in her federal complaint. Students were allegedly surprised at the hiring of a white woman for the position, and one student explicitly questioned her qualifications based on race.

The plaintiff also alleges that she was removed from a classroom teaching role after filing a complaint related to the situation. Hoffman describes her diversity ordeal as having “irrevocably damaged” her career in an email to Wisconsin State Sen. Patrick Testin earlier this year.

However, it is reported that Hoffman still works for the university. She transitioned to a senior academic advising coordinator role following the incident. The university board of regents declined to comment on the pending litigation when reached out for a statement.

This news article was orginally published on The Western Journal.
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