Diversity Office Staffer Allegedly Demoted for Being ‘White’ Sues University

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Written By Maya Cantina

A Wisconsin university official is suing her school after allegedly being demoted from a diversity-related position for being white.

In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, Rochelle Hoffman alleged that the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire sidelined her because of her race, according to the New York Post.

Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt and Assistant Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Teresa O’Halloran were included as defendants in the case, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

Criticism from some faculty over the “optics” of the situation created a hostile work environment, the suit alleged, according to the WPR report.

Hoffman was allegedly made to resign her position as interim director of the school’s Multicultural Student Services office last year.

The plaintiff said she was subjected to constant workplace hostility and racial harassment during her time holding the job, according to her case.

“Despite Hoffman’s exceptional qualifications, however, students, faculty and staff opposed her appointment to Interim Director of MSS solely because she was white,” she argued in the federal complaint.

“It was exclusively Hoffman’s identity as white that was the issue; criticism was about her race and color, not her qualifications.”

Students allegedly reacted with surprise at the hiring of Hoffman — a white woman — for the position.

“You hired a white woman as the Interim Director?” one student asked former Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Student Affairs Olga Diaz, according to the complaint.

Another student used leftist identity-based rhetoric to question Hoffman’s qualifications, according to the suit.

“Do you personally feel white staff can do as effective a job as a person of color, within a space for people of color?” the student asked Hoffman, according to the Post.

The plaintiff alleged that she was removed from a classroom teaching role after filing a complaint related to the situation.

Hoffman summarized her diversity ordeal in an email to Wisconsin State Sen. Patrick Testin earlier this year.

“This experience dragged out over 10 months and irrevocably damaged my career,” she wrote.

Hoffman still works for the university.

She’s since taken a position as the school’s senior academic advising coordinator, according to WPR.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, the university board of regents said, “We do not comment on pending litigation.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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