Debora Chlad

I worked at this university for more than a decade. I was laid off due to Covid19. H.R., the CFO & my supervisor all stated in the Zoom layoff call that I was “eligible for rehire” and that they hoped I would apply for other jobs on campus as soon as they are hiring again. I applied for 3 jobs that I was extremely qualified for months after my layoff. These were jobs where I knew the computer systems intimately & the job tasks. In each case, they hired African-Americans with zero experience. I subsequently learned these facts & the fact that the people they hired were unqualified. When I challenged the hiring manager about this fact, I was told the persons they hired in each separate job, were a “better fit”. That is their “code word” for I am white & 61 years old and we want younger African Americans only. Asian or Hispanic individuals were passed over as well. Additionally, they have repeatedly passed over Hispanic employees for promotions into middle management on 3 separate occasions that I have personally witnessed. This university is on an “African” only hiring policy.

In a matter of 2 years, they went from, in the department I worked, zero black employees to: 4. The department size is 11 total, including the 4. They were hiring unqualified black employees, documented by the fact that multiple complaints were made internally in the department when a black employee, after 2 years on the job, could not perform as the other non diversity hires were expected to perform. After George Floyd’s death, they increased their drive to hire black only candidates. One Hispanic employee who was passed over for a promotion in 2021 documented the unfair hiring practices by writing a letter to H.R. demanding recompense for being passed over for a promotion that was given to an inexperienced black person and the Hispanic employee was able to prove her complaint because she was told that the black person (a different black diversity hire than the one mentioned above) was experienced and “could hit the ground running” from his experience. The Hispanic employee showed that not only was the black diversity hire w/out experience like she had, he was severely behind in competency and was unable to be released from training even 1 year on the job. After the Hispanic employee’s letter to H.R., in order to avoid a discrimination action, H.R. handed the next opening to the Hispanic employee. This is an awful place of employment if you are over the age of 50 and white. This class of employee is treated by the university as an outsider and is subject to terrible hazing by leadership. I had a confidential conversation w/an H.R. employee 7 myself in 2018 and learned much to my surprise that “age and race discrimination” are the 2 most common complaints results at this university when employees were confidentially surveyed. This employer had documentation that they practice these awful methods. The reason they unabashedly pass over qualified candidates for diversity hires is, they receive federal and state grants and funds. They financially & mentally abuse/humiliate and haze their Hispanic & white employees and candidates to obtain favor & funding from federal & state Department of Education.

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