Dr. John Garland’s lawsuit alleges that “a small, powerful group” worked to “destroy” his career, as well as the career of his husband.
Garland has sued the university, as well as eight current and former employees.
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A white professor is suing Alabama State University (ASU) over claims the historically black university discriminated against him and his partner based on their race and sexual orientation.
According to the lawsuit filed in federal court on June 11, Dr. John Garland is suing the ASU and eight current and former employees for racially discriminating against applicants for university positions and subsequently targeting him when he retaliated against those practices.
“[Garland’s supervisor] expressed his opinion, stated or implied, that Dr. Garland did not belong at the University and was not ‘suited to [the University’s] type of students’ because Dr. Garland is not African-American,” the lawsuit states.
Garland, who is a member of the Choctaw Nation but is identified as white by colleagues, was hired by the university in August 2008 as an adjunct professor. In January 2009, Garland was rehired as an assistant professor for the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling Program in the Department of Rehabilitation Studies in the College of Health Sciences (COHS).
His white same-sex partner, Dr. Steven Chesbro, was hired at the university around that time. They legally married in Maryland in February 2013.
Chesbro is currently dean of COHS, which the lawsuit alleges that students and faculty commonly refer to as “the White House.” He has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge filed against the university.
“A small, powerful group at the University believes that Drs. Garland and Chesbro have no place at the University simply because of their non-African-American or non-Black identity,” the lawsuit reads. “This group, including combinations of the individually named Defendants, have conspired to destroy the careers and employment of these two dedicated teachers.”
“Some administrators and faculty welcome and support Drs. Garland and Chesbro as colleagues, while others reluctantly accept their presence as a necessary evil due to legal considerations,” the lawsuit continues.
A university spokesperson declined to comment on the case as it’s an ongoing lawsuit.
“ASU has just been served with a copy of the lawsuit today and since it concerns an on-going and active lawsuit, the University has no comment about it,” ASU officials told Campus Reform in a statement.
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SOURCE: Campus Reform