A fifth allegation of discrimination—this time on the basis of gender—has been filed against North Carolina Central University, this time by NCCU language and literature professor James Pearce.
It contains allegations that are similar to previous filings lodged by plaintiffs in the cases against the UNC Board of Governors, NCCU and University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. All the plaintiffs are represented by the Noble Law Firm of Chapel Hill.
Pearce’s letter of complaint claims that “the University has discriminated against me on the basis of gender and that it has retaliated against me” and that he was not selected for the position of department chair of language and literature over Wendy Rountree saying, “I am aware that I better qualified for the position and have more experience than Dr. Rountree. I also vigorously complained about how the search was going to be conducted before the process began.”
Both Rountree and Pearce are African-American. In previous filings, several white faculty complained they had been the target of racial discrimination.
Pearce’s statement aligns with that allegation.
Pearce, who is also director of graduate studies, charges that while at NCCU, “I have witnessed racial bias in hiring practices, curricular decisions, and program staffing[.]” The charge claims that NCCU’s alleged misconduct is “a case study in the abuse of power, the refusal of senior administrators to adhere to University policy, and the fate of administrators who do not subscribe to NCCU’s race based ideologies. The University routinely retaliates against faculty who refuse to comply with instructions which are unethical or illegal.”
According to the Noble Law Firm, all of the accusations suggest a lack of institutional control at NCCU, a concern that the firm and others say they have brought to the attention of UNC Board Governors Chairman John Fennebresque, General Counsel Thomas Shanahan and others.
In a press release the Noble Law Firm stated, “the UNC Board of Governors cannot continue to stick its head in the ground. It must start ‘governing’ its member institutions and urgently remedy the systemic misconduct that is preventing NCCU from achieving its goals.”