Historically Black College Sued for Discriminating Against White Instructors

April 08, 2009

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a historically black college on behalf of three white faculty members who said they were denied jobs or let go because of their race.

Federal officials today simultaneously announced the lawsuit and an agreement between the EEOC and Benedict College to settle the case. The institution said it would pay $55,000 to each of the instructors. The college also agreed to remind its staff about its employment policies prohibiting discrimination, to train administrators and faculty members, and to make periodic reports to the EEOC.

The EEOC said in its complaint against Benedict College that the institution discriminated against Argiri Aggelopoulou, an art instructor, when it hired a black instructor over her for an assistant professor of art position in February 2005. The following month, the complaint says, Benedict College did not renew contracts for Ms. Aggelopoulou and two other former faculty members — Michael Hale, an assistant art professor, and Katherine Mille, an associate English professor — because of their race.

Benedict College denied any allegations of discrimination, according to an Associated Press report. —Audrey Williams June