Texas A&M University said on Friday that its president would retire “immediately” after fallout surrounding political pushback of a new director of its journalism program because of her work promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.
The president, M. Katherine Banks, submitted a letter of retirement late Thursday, the university said in a statement. The announcement came just days after the school’s faculty senate passed a resolution to create a fact-finding committee to look “into the mishandling” of the hiring of Kathleen McElroy, a University of Texas professor and a former editor at The New York Times.
Within weeks of the original offer, the agreement began to unravel. At least one conservative Texas A&M alumni group, the Rudder Association, said it had filed a complaint about Dr. McElroy’s appointment because of her advocacy work. Dr. McElroy told The Times that the terms of her employment had been revised to offer her a one-year contract. She elected to return to her tenured position at the University of Texas.
The Texas Tribune first reported the controversy.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.