BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — A charge of discrimination has been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the College at Brockport by an employee of the university.
Vicki Elsenheimer is the administrative assistant to the Vice President for Advancement. She filed the complaint against the SUNY school through the EEOC. Her lawyer sent News 8 these documents:
In the complaint, Elsenehimer says “Based on the behaviors of individual and institutional racism, I believe I have been discriminated against because of my race.” She is claiming she was passed up for a title promotion because of her race.
She says in the documents that three of the four administrative assistants received title changes to executive assistant. She’s the fourth one and says she didn’t get that title. Elsenheimer says those three were white women and she is the only African American female reporting to a member of the president’s cabinet.
She says she complained to human resources and was later given the title but never received an explanation as to why she didn’t get the title change at the same time as the others.
According to the complaint, last year Elsenheimer met with chief diversity officer Dr. Cephas Archie and the human resources director to talk about this incident.
Jerry Thompson is a graduate fellow in the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. He says he wasn’t surprised to hear about this complaint and he just wants to see something change.
“Personally I would like for the situation to be dealt with, there to be some type of consequence and from there. I would like more involvement from other sources. If you keep going to the same sources, the same people over and over again, you’re going to get the same results,” Thompson said.
This comes after Brockport’s now-former Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Archie was controversially fired on January 24. The school didn’t give a reason, but Dr. Archie told News 8 he was told it was performance-related. Students protested Dr. Archie’s firing on campus that same night.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren blasted Brockport in a Facebook post that weekend, saying in part, “It’s unfortunate when the people working towards diversity and inclusion across the collegiate spectrum also face it themselves.”
She later spoke publicly, saying Dr. Archie’s firing speaks to a “larger issue.”
President Heidi Macpherson announced that Dr. Lorraine Acker will serve as interim CDO on January 27. That night, President Macpherson held a town hall meeting on campus to discuss student concerns on January 27.
News 8 reached out to the College at Brockport for a statement or response to this charge of discrimination and university officials said, “We are unable to comment on pending legal matters.”
At this point, the EEOC will further investigate the matter.