Professor Richard Lowery – an associate professor of finance at UT-Austin – has not formally applied for a position at Texas A&M, but stands ready to do so. He argues that Texas A&M's affirmative action policies bar him from getting a faculty job with the university system because he is white.
"Professor Lowery stands 'able and ready' to apply for a faculty appointment at Texas A&M University," the complaint states. "But the racial preferences and set-asides established by Texas A&M prevent [him] from competing with other applicants for these faculty positions on an equal basis."
According to a July 2022 memo from TAMU's Office for Diversity, a sum of $2 million is to be allocated for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to provide 50% matching base salary and benefits for new hires from "underrepresented minority groups."
The complaint adds:
"These discriminatory, illegal, and anti-meritocratic practices have been egged on by woke ideologues who populate the so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion offices at public and private universities throughout the United States. The existence of these offices is subverting meritocracy and encouraging wholesale violations of civil-rights laws throughout our nation's university system."
Laylan Copelin is vice chancellor of marketing and communications for the Texas A&M University System. In an official statement, Copelin says: "Granted, it's an unusual job application when Mr. Lowery says in the lawsuit he is 'able and ready' to apply for a faculty appointment at Texas A&M.
"But our lawyers will review the lawsuit, confer with Texas A&M and take appropriate action as warranted.”
The lawsuit seeks to bar Texas A&M University from considering race or sex in employment and the appointment of a monitor to oversee hiring, promotion, and compensation decisions. It names specifically each of the ten members of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, as well as TAMU's vice presidents for diversity and for faculty affairs.
Lowery is represented in the case by the America First Legal Foundation.