Tarrant County College may have a race-based ‘Faculty Recruitment and Retention Plan’ that has not been updated since the enactment of SB17 and may be in violation of the law.

Former Tarrant County College employee Jack Reynolds provided a copy of the document to The Dallas Express.

“The left has no problem with racism as long as they can pick the race and who gets to be a racist,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds told DX that during his time at TCC, his department chair was instructed to focus on hiring more Hispanics. He said he was told directly that hiring decisions were based on increasing diversity.

“The current goal is to create a faculty recruitment plan allowing the College to increase the number of Hispanic faculty to better align with the student population. TCC is committed to the ongoing systemic changes needed to ensure the increased recruitment, inclusion, and retention and completion of historically underserved and underrepresented populations,” the plan states.

The document also says that TCC focuses on “equitable outcomes.”

“Successful adoption of intentional recruitment and retention practices that result in a faculty that looks like our students will be measured by year-over-year percentages that are closely aligned across the College,” the document states.

The College’s board of trustees was briefed on the Faculty Recruitment and Retention Plan at a work session meeting on September 16, 2021, according to the school’s website.

Despite the fact that the retention plan had been drafted, a TCC spokesperson denies it was ever implemented.

“Tarrant County College does not have a Faculty Recruitment and Retention Plan. The document you referenced below was requested by former Chancellor Giovannini and presented to the Board of Trustees as an informational item at the Board Working Session on September 16, 2021. The plan referenced was not modified, and it was never implemented,” Reginald Gate, TCC vice chancellor for communications and external affairs, said in a statement to DX. “Tarrant County College does not have a racial quota as part of its hiring practices.”

SB 17, passed last year, prohibits taxpayer-funded colleges and universities in Texas from maintaining “diversity, equity, and inclusion” offices or policies. It also bars hiring practices that take into account race, sex, ethnicity, or color.

TCC Trustee Laura Pritchett appeared to contradict Gate’s assertion, arguing that the current board needs to revisit the retention plan, which she claimed was approved by a previous iteration of trustees.

“Tarrant County College’s Faculty Recruitment and Retention Plan, as written, identifies student demographics as the driver of hiring practices. According to the document, in the fall of 2020, the Hispanic student population was 34.8%, while the Hispanic faculty represented 8%. As reflected in the published policy, the foregone conclusion was the faculty needed to mirror the student population of 34.8%. In other words, the Plan states that more Hispanic faculty should be hired based on ethnicity to match the percentage of Hispanic students,” Pritchett said in a statement to DX.

“TCC’s current Faculty Recruitment and Retention Plan, approved by the prior Board, appears to be obsolete and not in concert with the intent of SB17. The College’s current plan for hiring and retaining faculty should be revisited to ensure 100% compliance with the law,” Pritchett said. “The College needs to remain focused on student outcomes and student success. The measures used for hiring should not be driven by race metrics but by merit.”

Some local leaders have also criticized the retention plan.

“This is nothing more than affirmative action, which in most cases is now illegal. Any policy focused on race-based criteria for hiring is racist. Those responsible should be held accountable,” Tarrant County Republican Party Chairman Bo French told DX.

A Fort Worth businessman also weighed in on the plan.

“The realization of the American dream is for equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. The former is to ensure success and promotion is based on the individual’s merits while the latter uses discrimination that discounts the individual and categorizes by tribalism and subjective victimized categories. That is an anathema to the American ethos and, frankly, at the end of the day, can only be implemented through the barrel of a gun,” John O’Shea said, speaking with DX.

DX reached out to the other TCC board trustees — Kenneth Barr, Shannon Wood,  Jeannie Deakyne, Leonard Hornsby, Gwen Morrison, and Teresa Ayala — but did not receive a response by publication.