OU Diversity Officer Alleges Forced Resignation

Jul 26, 2018

Jabar Shumate
Credit OU

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The University of Oklahoma's former chief diversity officer said he was forced to resign from the school.

Jabar Shumate said at a Wednesday press conference that he is considering legal action against the university because of the forced resignation, as well as "false accusations" the university made "against my character." The statement came just one day after the university announced his resignation "to pursue other career opportunities."

The university responded to the allegations with a statement saying Shumate voluntarily resigned after being confronted with an audit that revealed "a significant misuse of university assets."

Shumate said the university's claims are false.

"The nature of these allegations are not only slanderous, but from my perspective, constitute a high-tech lynching," he said.

The chief diversity officer position was created in 2015 after videos surfaced showing Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the university singing racist lyrics. The university closed the fraternity house and banned the chapter from campus.

Shumate said he "was recently informed" that the university is reinstating the fraternity.

"Of course, part of the reason this is happening is because Mr. Shumate made it clear to the university that he didn't think that was a smart move," said Lindsey Mulinix-Ewert, Shumate's attorney.

The school denied any such plans.

"The SAE fraternity is not reopening a chapter at the University of Oklahoma and the audit and discovery of misuse of funds had nothing to do with this topic," the university's statement said.

The university said that it's still looking for an interim chief diversity officer to replace Shumate.