Press Yawns As Univ. of Louisville Advertises Asst. Prof Position For Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans Only

December 21st, 2015 10:55 PM

Did you hear about the university which advertised for "a tenure-track Assistant Professor position that will be filled by a White American or Asian American"? Of course you didn't, because it didn't happen. But it's not difficult to imagine the outrage which would justifiably ensue if such an ad were ever placed.

Well, last week it became widely known that the University of Louisville placed an ad for a "tenure-track Assistant Professor position" which specified the racial/ethnic makeup of who would be considered eligible. It was removed after appearing for almost two months. Thanks to the wonders of Google cache, readers can see the relevant portion below (HT Progressives Today):


Readers' eyes are not playing tricks on them. The ad really really does insist that the position is "a tenure-track Assistant Professor position that will be filled by an African American, Hispanic American or Native American Indian."

So where is Tom Perez's Department of Labor? Where is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? (All I hear is crickets.) Imagine their, uh, white-hot fury if a "whites and Asians" only ad ever got posted.

The reaction from the few in the media who have noticed has been remarkably muted.

At the Louisville Courier Journal and the original-source Inside Higher Ed (as carried at Slate), the ad only "raised questions":

U of L ripped for help-wanted ad

The University of Louisville is drawing fire for a help-wanted ad for a professor that it said could be filled only by an "African-American, Hispanic-American or Native American Indian.”

In a story headlined “White, Asians Need Not Apply,” Insider Higher Ed reported Wednesday that the ad raised legal questions about limiting job searches to members of select racial and ethnic groups.

Actually, there is no "question" about this. It's blatantly and obviously illegal. I was able to confirm in about 30 seconds that the EEOC, based on labor and civil-rights laws passed by Congress, says so:

Job Advertisements

It is illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

For example, a help-wanted ad that seeks "females" or "recent college graduates" may discourage men and people over 40 from applying and may violate the law.

So why the kid gloves? Two months ago, in a completely different realm, the gloves came off in an Associated Press story which even made its way to the UK:

'No Haitians': nursing job ad's race-based criteria sparks outrage

An advertisement for a nursing position has created a storm of outrage over one of its job criteria: no Haitians.

The ad, in the 15 October print New City edition of the weekly Pennysaver, said Interim Healthcare Inc was looking for a female nurse for a job in West Haverstraw, in Rockland County. It said: “Laid back nurse, no Haitians” and required that candidates also have state certifications.

Interim, an in-home nursing provider, issued a statement from its president, Kathleen McNally, on its Facebook page and website, saying the ad is “totally unacceptable and is offensive to us”. She said a review would be conducted to look at what happened and make sure that it didn’t happen again.

“Please accept our sincere apology. In particular, we apologize to the entire Haitian community,” McNally said.

The Pennysaver Group said Monday that the ad was published by mistake and without “proper editing protocol” and has since been removed.

“We deeply apologize to our readers and the Haitian community,” the company’s chairman and chief operating officer said.

... State senator David Carlucci, who represents part of Rockland County, called on the state’s labor department to investigate.

U of L can hardly fall back on an "editing protocol" excuse, as the position specifically and deliberately demanded a candidate from one of three favored racial/ethnic groups. Yet I haven't seen any politician calling for an investigation, and the Associated Press has not run a national story — nor, from what I can tell, even a local/regional story.

Why not?

Cross-posted at