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Volume 68, Issue 62, Wednesday, November 20, 2002

News
 

Plaintiff drops UH race case

By Nikie Johnson
The Daily Cougar

An Athletics Department staff member's discrimination lawsuit against UH was dismissed last week after the plaintiff decided to stop pursuing the case.

Alexander Brown, who has been an academic coordinator for Athletics since 1994, filed a lawsuit in August 2001 alleging racial discrimination. On Thursday, he and the University filed a joint stipulation of dismissal, which was granted Friday.

"The lawsuit had done what I wanted it to do, and that was to tell the world that UH allows some of its employees to discriminate," Brown said. "I got that message out."

He said he was referring to former Athletics Director Chet Gladchuk, who left UH in September 2001 to take a position at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

In July 2000, according to the lawsuit, Brown, who is black, applied for the position of associate athletics director, which would have been one step up from his current position. Gladchuk, who is white, had the final say in hiring.

The lawsuit claimed that Brown met all the qualifications for the job, but that he was passed over in favor of a less qualified candidate, who was white.

Brown alleged Gladchuk did not hire him because he is black, which would be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

UH Executive Director of External Communication Mike Cinelli vehemently denied Brown's allegations that the University allows its employees to discriminate.

"This University is an equal opportunity employer," he said; "always has been, always will be."

Less than a year before Brown filed suit, another lawsuit was filed against UH claiming racial discrimination by Gladchuk. Christopher Bahl, a former associate athletics director, claimed Gladchuk told him he would never hire a black head football coach when Bahl recommended African-Americans for the position. Bahl alleged he was fired for opposing Gladchuk. That suit was also dismissed by joint stipulation in October.

When Bahl's suit was filed, Gladchuk told Breaking News, the online winter edition of The Daily Cougar, that he had "an impeccable record" for diversity throughout his career. He noted that he had hired the first black basketball coaches at Tulane University and Boston College and that three of the six head coaches at UH at the time were black.

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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