Douglas McMillan, the vice president of academic affairs at Southeastern Oklahoma State University says Professor Rachel Tudor’s transgender “lifestyle” “offends his Baptist beliefs”, and has chosen to not only grant the beloved professor tenure, but to terminate her employment altogether. Ocolly reports: Despite the complete support of her colleagues and […]
In April 2011, Dr. Rachel Tudor, an Assistant Professor of English, Humanities and Literature was denied tenure and subsequently fired by Southeastern Oklahoma State University despite having been awarded the Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Excellence in Scholarship that same year. She had also been recommended for promotion and tenure twice in the prior two years. Though Dr. Tudor seemed a shoo-in for tenure, she denied by vice president of academic affairs Dr. Douglas McMillan, who had previously asked the University’s HR Department whether Dr. Tudor could be fired because her lifestyle “offends his Baptist beliefs.” And what about her lifestyle was so offensive? Dr. Tudor is a trans woman.
Dr. Tudor originally applied for her job under her pre-transition identity. But in 2007, she began her transition — this is when the alleged harassment began. Shortly after her transition, she was instructed against using the women’s restroom near her office, and told she could only use one specific single-stall, all genders restroom located on a different floor, which, aside from being humiliating and exclusionary, created conflicts with her busy class schedule.
In a heartening display of public support for gender equality, the U.S. Department of Justice brought a complaint against the University on March 30, 2015. Needless to say, we’re with Dr. Tudor and we’ll be following her case all the way. Here is our coverage of her so far.