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Fired prof's racism claim rejected

A federal agency has told an African-American MIT stem cell researcher, who last year went on a 12-day linkurl:hunger strike;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/40634/ in to protest his tenure denial, that his claim of racial discrimination was too little, too late. According to MIT's school paper, linkurl:__The Tech__,;http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N8/sherley.html The US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) rejected James Sherley's claim that the university refused him tenure ba

By | March 21, 2008

A federal agency has told an African-American MIT stem cell researcher, who last year went on a 12-day linkurl:hunger strike;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/40634/ in to protest his tenure denial, that his claim of racial discrimination was too little, too late. According to MIT's school paper, linkurl:__The Tech__,;http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N8/sherley.html The US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) rejected James Sherley's claim that the university refused him tenure based on his ethnicity, telling Sherley that the charges lacked merit and that he filed them too late. Sherley filed the discrimination claim with the commission on September 11, 2007, more than 300 days after being denied tenure on January 2, 2005. Federal law mandates that such claims must be filed within 300 days of the incident at issue. Sherley contended that the incident that did him the most harm was being fired from MIT on June 30, 2007, and that his claim was thus within the 300 day window. The commission also wrote in a linkurl:letter;http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N8/sherley/6-Feb4-EEOC.pdf to Sherley that even if he had filed the claim on time, that MIT's decision to deny him tenure was warranted and non-discriminatory. According to __The Tech__, Sherley has asked Massachusetts politicians to investigate the EEOC's refusal to consider his case. To read more correspondence between the commission and Sherley, which he provided to __The Tech__, click linkurl:here.;http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N8/sherley/ Last June, after Sherley was fired from MIT, another African-American researcher at MIT, Frank Douglas, resigned for what he called the "insidious nature of discrimination in a university context." To read Douglas' full explanation of why he resigned, which he wrote for __The Scientist__ last July, click linkurl:here.;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53451/ Hat tip to __The Chronicle of Higher Education__'s linkurl:News blog.;http://chronicle.com/news/article/4173/federal-agency-rejects-former-mit-professors-claim-of-racial-bias
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 25, 2008

Though this country has taken great strides forward in the past few decades, it is an unfortunate reality that racism continues to rear its ugly head in this country. I find know fault in the fact that this man waited 300 days to file a claim. There are many like him who are abhorrent to filing such a claim because we would all like to believe that this type of thing does not exist. But it does exist. It exists particularly in fields/professions that are dominated by those who are not minorities. There are many who will simply roll their eyes and chalk it up to "sour grapes" because they REFUSE to see what is really happening. It seems as though Dr. Sherley's knowledge is not appreciated at MIT , but he is held in high esteem by his collegues. This to me speaks for itself.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 4

March 25, 2008

Just because Shirley is black doesn't mean his firing was racist. Anyone who goes on a hunger strike because he is denied tenure must have a few loose screws. I have been following this story from the beginning and feel that MIT is being accused of racism when there is no evidence that such was the case. The rejection of his clams supports this contention. I know The Scientist want this to be a liberal cause that they can rally around, but I think they picked the wrong horse. Lewis Cantley and Mario Capecchi were denied tenure at Harvard, but no one made a fuss about it. I just don't understand why a tenure decision against a black man can be construed to be racist simply because he is black. The logic completely escapes me!

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