Texas A&M reaches $1 million settlement with Black journalism professor

(AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

Texas A&M University reached a $1 million settlement Thursday with a Black journalism professor after botched attempts to hire her unraveled after pushback over her past work promoting diversity.

The nation’s largest public school agreed to pay Kathleen McElroy $1 million, and apologized to her while admitting “mistakes were made during the hiring process.”

Texas A&M had initially welcomed McElroy, a Texas A&M graduate, with great fanfare to revive the school’s journalism department in June. She is a former New York Times editor and had overseen the journalism school at the more liberal University of Texas at Austin.

But McElroy said soon after her hiring, which including a public signing ceremony, that she learned of emerging internal pushback from unidentified individuals over her past work to improve diversity and inclusion in newsrooms.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

McElroy told the Texas Tribune the initial offer of a tenure-track position was first reduced to a five-year post and then reduced to a one-year job from which she could be fired at any time. The 1981 Texas A&M graduate rejected the offer and ultimately chose to stay at the University of Texas as a journalism professor.

Shortly after events around her hiring became public, Texas A&M University President Katherine Banks resigned.

“This matter has been resolved,” McElroy said in statement. ” I hope the resolution of my matter will reinforce A&M’s allegiance to excellence in higher education and its commitment to academic freedom and journalism.”