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Fired Oberlin Prof lawsuit: Told “we can’t just hire another white woman from the Midwest with a husband”

Fired Oberlin Prof lawsuit: Told “we can’t just hire another white woman from the Midwest with a husband”

Alice Blumenfeld alleges race, sex, sexual orientation, and national origin/ancestry discrimination, and lost tenure track opportunity in favor of “a non-Caucasian, gay man of Filipino descent who does not appear to be from the Midwest or in a heterosexual marriage …, even though Ms. Blumenfeld was more qualified for the position.”

https://youtu.be/8nQYQQcxHFo

Alice Blumenfeld is a former Oberlin College Assistant Professor of Dance, starting in 2018 until termination on June 30, 2020.

Blumenfeld has filed a lawsuit in state court alleging that she was terminated after a more senior professor made disparaging comments, as first reported in the Morning Journal:

In the filing, Alice Blumenfeld of Huron says after serving as a visiting assistant professor of dance between 2018 and 2020, she was denied a fair opportunity for a tenured position due to her race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and marital status.

Oberlin College discontinued Blumenfeld’s employment as of June 30, 2020, and she had applied for a new position as an assistant professor of dance.

The lawsuit describes a July 7, 2019, meeting between Blumenfeld and Oberlin Dance Department Chair Ann Cooper Albright, where she was advised to look for a new position, allegedly being told, “we can’t just hire another white woman from the Midwest with a husband.”

“Ms. Albright, acting individually and in her capacity as chair of Oberlin’s Dance Department, effectively rejected Ms. Blumenfeld for the new tenure-track position, not because of her accomplishments, her skill, her experiences, her work ethic, or her individual and personal qualities, but instead, because of her race, the color of her skin, her sex, her sexual orientation, her national origin, and her ancestry,” according to the suit.

Blumenfeld filed a complaint with Rebecca Mosely, Oberlin College’s director of Equity Diversity and Inclusion, over the matter asking for confidentiality fearing professional repercussions, the suit says.

In January, Oberlin College hired a candidate for the role whom the lawsuit argues was less qualified.

“While Ms. Blumenfeld was more qualified for the tenure-track position than the individual Oberlin hired, she failed to meet the identity-based qualifications that the defendants required, which included qualifications based upon race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin and ancestry,” the lawsuit alleges.

After filing a formal complaint under the Oberlin College policy on discrimination and harassment, an internal review by the college concluded Blumenfeld had not suffered any discrimination or retaliation and was free of bias; however, the report allegedly identified some problematic patterns, the lawsuit maintains.

In addition to the above, the Complaint alleges that there was a pattern of discrimination against white people in the dance department hiring process in which the college “planned to create and fill a new position in the Dance Department based upon an individual’s immutable characteristics and not based upon their qualifications, experience, or character” and that there was retaliation for her asserting claims of discrimination.

She asserts that “[d]uring the hiring process, Ms. Blumenfeld was also treated differently than the other three job candidates that Oberlin considered (all of whom were not Caucasian)” and further:

77. Oberlin failed to hire Ms. Blumenfeld because of her race, Caucasian, and skin color, white, and instead offered the position to an individual whose race and skin color were neither Caucasian nor white.

78. Due to Defendants’ discriminatorily motivated actions, Ms. Blumenfeld went through a dehumanizing and humiliating experience that caused her to suffer emotional distress and anxiety. She understandably felt miserable and demeaned in her work environment and throughout the hiring process because she was unlawfully mistreated due to her race and skin color.

She alleges that she also suffered discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation (heterosexual), and marital status (married), in favor of “a non-Caucasian, gay man of Filipino descent who does not appear to be from the Midwest or in a heterosexual marriage over
Ms. Blumenfeld, even though Ms. Blumenfeld was more qualified for the position.”

She also alleges national origin and ancestry discrimination:

“Oberlin failed to hire Ms. Blumenfeld because of her national origin and ancestry, as an individual from the United States, of European heritage, and having spent a portion of her youth in the Midwest of the United States, and instead offered the position to an individual who is of Filipino ancestry and who is not from the Midwest of the United States.”

In response to my inquiry, Oberlin College’s spokesman stated that the college had no comment on the case. Prof. Albright did not respond to my request for comment, including whether she denied making the statement attributed to her as recounted in the Morning Journal.

We will continue to follow this case, as we are all the other Oberlin College litigations.

Here is a video of Prof. Blumenfeld giving a TED Talk about Flamenco, her specialty:

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Comments

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 9, 2020 at 8:11 pm

Is this the same Oberlin that hates Bakeries?

Located in Lorain, Ohio where the linked newspaper is also located?

More than one Oberlin College?

Oh my I pray not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beautiful dancer

Thank you

    C. Lashown in reply to gonzotx. | September 9, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    She’s just a little chubby… and where are the castanets? The rhythmic clicking of the castanets, along with the guitar weave a wondrous spell in my opinion.

Sorry Professor Blumenfeld, but talent and ability have exactly zero to do with it, let alone the snotty comments of the commie bigot you had to deal with. Academia is morphing into Soviet Amerika, where Party connections are the only thing that matter.

If your case gets that far, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Gorsuch will simply read you out of the Constitution because of your race, sex, sexual orientation, and national origin/ancestry. You have no rights anymore.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | September 9, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Speaking of today’s kkkolleges….

    FYI

    Vanderbilt Quiz On Constitution Marked Students Wrong Who Said It Was Not Designed To Perpetuate White Supremacy

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/vanderbilt-quiz-constitution-marked-students-wrong-who-said-it-was-not-designed

      Name of the instructor and/or author of the class materials?

      Dude,

      The U.S. Constitution did incorporate the practice of slavery so IMO, there is a very reasonable case to be made that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights did perpetuate ‘white supremacy ‘. As a factual matter this idea isn’t really in dispute.

      That said, our founding documents, Declaration of Independence and Constitution used aspirational language and principles. Clearly we didn’t fulfil the goals of equality under the law until we spent the blood of more than half a million dead in a civil war, passed the 13th amendment ending slavery, the 14th amendment conferring citizenship to freed slaves among others, the 15th amendment granting freed slaves among others the right to vote.

      Even then more remained to be done. The military was integrated in 1948, Brown v Board in 1954, the civil rights acts of the 1960s. That’s a hundred years of post civil war actions to get to equality under the law.

      Rejecting, denying or downplaying the historical record is what is leading to division. Those like BLM who act as if none of these remedial measures exist and those who deny their necessity are, IMO, equally at fault for the lingering climate of racial division.

      No I am not comparing you to anarchist mobs. I am stating that the practice of rejecting the clear history of the nation is why some folks may feel that BLM and it’s mob tactics are the only way people will hear their voice.

        Please cite the portions of the US Constitution which “incorporate the practice of slavery”.

          CommoChief in reply to gibbie. | September 10, 2020 at 8:15 pm

          gibbie,

          Ok. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3. The ‘3/5 compromise’ which was a bargain struck between States with large slave populations and States without large Slave populations regarding representation and direct taxation. We can also look at the necessity of the 13 amendment which abolished slavery post civil war.

          The fact is our founders were human and thus flawed. This fact, IMO, enhances their historical standing. They created the framework by which our Nation could eventually achieve the aspirations and ideals contained within our founding documents. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident…’

          gibbie in reply to gibbie. | September 10, 2020 at 8:43 pm

          I don’t think that citing a compromise which reduced the power of slave states makes your case.

          Neither does citing the absence of any declaration against slavery. Laws may have incorporated the practice of slavery, but not the Constitution.

          “The fact is our founders were human and thus flawed.” Entirely correct. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The miracle of the Constitution is that its authors were intensely aware of the sinfulness of human nature, including their own, and crafted the Constitution accordingly. The left is filled with pride and self-righteousness.

          CommoChief in reply to gibbie. | September 10, 2020 at 9:43 pm

          gibbie,

          If you want to make the argument that the practice of slavery wasn’t contemplated within or that it’s aspects were not incorporated within the Constitution, have at at. I disagree.

          IMO, it is explicit within the 3/5 compromise, as I referenced and inferred by the 10th amendment which incorporated the Constitutional standing of the State laws you acknowledge. These were only overcome by a civil war and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

          I believe we agree that our founders while flawed managed to create political institutions and the political framework which eventually allowed our Nation to live up to the.lofty aspirations of our founding fathers philosophy.

          These truly great men knew they were flawed. They, unlike many modern politicians, had humility and a degree of faith in the presence of a Creator. The writings of the founders in public documents and private papers makes clear that they struggled with the issue.of slavery and their failure to address it.

          It is to their credit that they admit this fact as a condition of creating the union of States. Ultimately, the Nation was able to achieve their vision that we are all equal under the law because of the structure they created.

        maxmillion in reply to CommoChief. | September 10, 2020 at 7:57 pm

        Dood. Actually it is.

          CommoChief in reply to maxmillion. | September 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm

          maxmillion,

          Grow up. At the time of the nation’s founding white males held the levers of political, economic and social power, as they had for centuries. This isn’t in dispute. The founders were products of their time and their culture. It doesn’t mean that they are bad guys, it makes them human and flawed just as we are.

          If you really want to go down this road I am happy to do so. Please be so kind as to make your art and support it with facts and citations. Otherwise troll somewhere else.

        ConradCA in reply to CommoChief. | September 11, 2020 at 12:20 am

        Counting slaves as 3/5 reduced the power of the slave states. Furthermore, it was impossible for those who wrote the constitution to end slavery. If they had tried to do it in the constitution then the United States would never have been united. So the Constitution was an agreement that everyone could agree on.

        Gary Mac in reply to CommoChief. | September 14, 2020 at 7:02 am

        Love these attempts to read slavery INTO the Constitution because there was no explicit prohibition until the amendments. Guess what? There is A LOT that wasn’t explicitly prohibited but legally permitted or at least accepted at the time – if YOU want to apportion guilt and responsibility on YOURSELF go for it – we’ll hold YOU responsible. But respectfully shut up about all whites being somehow complicit – none of my ancestors held slaves, bought or sold slaves or profited from slavery. Another skull full of mush successfully indoctrinated by the leftist academy.

        I believe it is fair to say that the Constitution recognized the fact of slavery, in at least two clauses.
        The 3/5ths Compromise was necessary to ensure that the southern states did not simply walk away. However, it limited their political power in the House of Representatives by lowering the number of people counted for apportioning representatives. The framers, I believe, initially did not want to count slaves at all for apportionment.
        The other clause prevented Congress from making any laws to end the slave trade for 20 years. After this expired, they immediately enacted such a law.

        I think this recognizes the existence of slavery, but both clauses are hostile to slavery. I don’t think you can make a good argument that the Constitution is designed to perpetuate slavery. Like the framers of the Declaration of Independence our Founders had to live with the world that actually was, not a world that we, a quarter millennium later, think ought to have been.

        Also, regarding the civil rights struggle: I believe that the Civil Service was integrated during the last third of the 19th century. President Wilson reversed that and re-segregated the Civil Service. Not one of the Democratic party’s better moments.

    Once, in a land far far away, there was a country that rewarded positions according to merit. The people living there decided they didn’t like that system of advancement and rebelled. They wanted free phones and video games for all, regardless who paid for them.

    Now they all eat rice porridge twice a day and stewed vegetables three times a week. They’re a happy complaint race of drudges, accomplishing nothing and mostly sterile.

Another intersectional torpedo potentially circling around to hit the one who fired it.

Let’s see … History of Title IX discrimination against men, phony racism allegations against Gibson’s bakery, and now sexist behavior.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer college.

“whom the lawsuit argues was less qualified.”

The rule in modern English is that “who” is almost always acceptable where formerly “whom” was required. Accordingly, as in this case, if a journalist cannot reliably tell whether “who” or “whom” is required, it’s always better to use “who.” Risk management.

As it happens, “who” is correct. It’s the subject of “was.”

    Milhouse in reply to rhhardin. | September 9, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    To make it clearer, insert imaginary commas, thus: “who, the lawsuit argues, was less qualified”. This should make it sufficiently clear that “who” is correct. Now remove the commas; “who” is still correct.

Paul In Sweden | September 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Things have gone beyond insane. How can things like this happen? Legal eagles, please explain to those of us that do not know the law what is happening. This makes no sense to me.

.
“…the college ‘planned to create and fill a new position in the Dance Department based upon an individual’s immutable characteristics and not based upon their qualifications, experience, or character’…”

“Immutable characteristics” – now THERE’S a phrase to trigger many a Leftist! Whatever happened to “gender-fluid”, non-binary and the rest of that cr*p?

Well I actually hope she’s doing this purely for the money. Why would anyone want to work with people with such loathsome opinions?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 9, 2020 at 8:46 pm

We better check to see if Oberlin might be involved in such shenanigans as this also.

JPMorgan Finds Some Employees

“Illegally Pocketed”

Covid-Relief Funds

JPMorgan Finds Some Employees “Illegally Pocketed” Covid-Relief Funds

Hard to feel sorry for anyone involved or getting a paycheck from that schiffhole of a theoretical school.
But then again, in the future even the folks who mop the bathrooms in McD’s will probably need a faux degree in something in order to show any kind of qualification for the job.
oberlin seems well qualified to pass out those mopping degrees.

Gonna go out on a limb and guess she was all with the woke crowd until they hoisted her up on the altar.

I hope she wins and bankrupts Oberlin, but in reality she is much better off not working there.

    Tom Servo in reply to NavyMustang. | September 10, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    It may take years, but sooner or later Oberlin is going to realize (as others in this position have learned before them) that spending most of your time and budget fighting lawsuits every day is no way to run an organization.

JackinSilverSpring | September 9, 2020 at 9:30 pm

Affirmative Racism at work.

    Affirmative racism, sexism, etc. Diversity (i.e. color judgments) breeds adversity is a dogmatic belief under the Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent quasi-religion (“ethics”) adopted by Progressive Churches and Democrat Party.

If Alice Blumenfeld wins, and a director decided to make a movie about her struggle, she won’t get cast in *that* position either, based upon race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin and ancestry.

So says Academy rules.

    Barry Soetoro in reply to mochajava76. | September 10, 2020 at 3:40 am

    “If Alice Blumenfeld wins, and a director decided to make a movie about her struggle, she won’t get cast in *that* position either, based upon race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin and ancestry.”

    Given Frau Professor is Jewish, the movie will be an academic holocaust survival flick.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Barry Soetoro. | September 10, 2020 at 10:10 am

      Both previous comments are wrong.

      The professor will be cast as white…as the antagonist.

      Oberlin’s clueless affirmative action president will be cast as the protagonist, but they will be sure to check a few more PC boxes along the way to finding a black actress. This “hero” will endure constant homophobia, racism, and misogyny in such a dark and unwoke place like Oberlin to rise above and still be proud of what she stands for (aka the boxes she checks)…after she loses yet another lawsuit.

just be glad you weren’t hired there
https://oberlinreview.org/21315/opinions/obies-please-vote-for-biden-harris-2020/
nice mountain of mis-information

Shocking!
Racists, bigots, heterophobes and misogynists at a “Woke”, pending bankrupt college run by incompetents?
They are as imbecilic as CNN defaming Mr. Sandmann, again.
Any parent/student going into debt to attend that school deserves what they get.
Darwin, baby.

It’s done: the inmates are running the asylum. Which is why we have armies of aging single women mutilated with tattoos out rioting alongside street criminals.

Assistant Professor of Dance

Hang on, let me check my box of f*cks.

[looks deep inside box. picks up box, tips box upside down. vigorously shakes box to no avail]

Huh.

Ms. Blumenfeld,

Sit in the sun and get a nice tan.

Go to Hollywood.

LukeHandCool (who as a blue-eyed white dude tans more easily than his Asian wife to her never ending surprise. And whose older sister is close childhood friends with the girl who married George Burns’son, Ronnie Burns. Luke’s sister occasionally went out to dinner with George, Ronnie, and Janice Burns. And Luke’s sister said George Burns would invariably spot one little girl in the restaurant each time and, to the amazement and delight of the little girl’s parents, go up to their table and say to the little girl, “I could make you a star!” They don’t make ’em like that anymore. They just make politically-correct, bean-counting, life-hating, miserably homogenized and antiseptic bores now.

Flamenco is one of the most beautiful, inspiring dance styles. I surprised Oberlin didn’t accuse her of cultural appropriation, too.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | September 10, 2020 at 12:27 am

“Professor of Dance”??

That makes me giggle just saying it.

    We could have a blast with a case of beer and the staff directory. Dean of Equity and Inclusivity. Professor of Gender Studies. ………

    I used to think that way until I was introduced to the works of Moses Pendleton. https://vimeo.com/8567696

    I took a number of theater (inter-arts) courses at Oberlin as a mental health diversion from the STEM stuff and at one point made a comment that “dancers are interesting people” after observing one of them casually change clothes in the middle of the auditorium following a rehersal. A theater major responded “dancers aren’t people.” That comment seemed to stick for some reason. 😉

Given that we now have a full trifecta of bad decisions, a person wiser than me is firmly of the opinion that Oberlin didn’t go out into the woods to hunt.

I hope she gets every penny from Oberlin that the Gibsons do not get.

Trans/homosexuals are more politically congruent (“=”) than feminine females, if they ever were, less the feminist (i.e. chauvinist) community leaders.

Remember this. To the left, the employer is dispensable. After destroying Oberlin, each and every one of those responsible will be rewarded with a higher paying job.

buckeyeminuteman | September 10, 2020 at 4:39 am

No fair, don’t care. That’s what you get when you try to get hired by the wokest, most liberal college in America. Kinda nice to see the Regressive Left eating their own from time to time.

An excellent inspiration for a movie. Even scarier than a Zombie flick and the casting takes care of itself if you are looking for that Oscar. Middle-aged tattooed women on the rampage – Cast of thousands- Fire-breathing dragon – Only a child can save us – get me Kathleen Kennedy !!

One of these days the Left is going to run out of suitable qualified minorities to hire. Of course, when this happens they will just redefine “qualified” to simply mean “nonwhite”. “Atlas Shrugged” was supposed to be a work of fiction not a preview of coming attractions.

    “was supposed to be a work of fiction” are you sure about that?
    the same could be said about; ‘brave new world’ ‘1984’ and ‘animal farm’. perhaps the authors knew more than they were willing to admit.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Cleetus. | September 10, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Actually, Atlas Shrugged was pretty much of a description of contemporary Soviet Russia – fictionalized, but clearly based in the actual goings-on in the communist world.

she needs to learn to play the game by their rules. announce that she is a lesbian trans that identifies as a bi-racial asian african american man. if needed, her partner could also claim to be gay.
no let the school deny that he/the/them/us isn’t who they say they are. problem solved/she doesn’t need a lawyer, she needs better advice.

I must ask Ms. Blumenfeld — who have you been voting for your entire adult life?

If you’ve been a reliable Democratic voter, did you not see what was coming? This is the world you voted for. This is the world you supported. These are the people you put in charge.

They needed to make an omelette and you are an egg. Enjoy the dish.

A few years back, I was hired by a large, well known high tech company, but my offer, at one point, was delayed while they had to file some additional paperwork because they needed to testify that they were unable to find a “non-white” applicant with equal or better skills.
Since I eventually got the job (mostly because the skill set was so specialized), I didn’t think to make any noise .. but ..

    Gary Mac in reply to Neo. | September 14, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Same here – but different ending. Applied at a tech co and had the usual series of extensive interviews thru numerous departments over the span of several weeks which all went very well – as I was a bit over-qualified ending with H.R. where that v.p. said aloud, “did anyone tell you that we are looking to fill this position with a minority if available?” No, they did not. She closed with, “we are going in another direction, thank you” and poof, what an incredible waste of time. This was just before the markets tanked ’06-’07.

Target’s going the same way; they’re going to hire 20% more black employees. They already have 15% black employees and percentages of other groups so pretty soon they won’t hire whites. Blatant discrimination; they’re also going to increase the number of black promotions. I stopped shopping there regularly years ago when they had a big Pride display at the front of the store. I end up there once or twice a year when I used to shope there weekly.

I don’t believe she has a case. While her job was offered as a “tenure track” position. The Dept. Head has the right to fire or non-renew the contract prior to tenure being offered. The rest is spilt milk.

    You are right to the extent that the prof was there on a one-year contract that wasn’t renewed. Non-renewal is no cause for action (generally).

    As I read this, though, she was excluded from consideration because of race, gender, and marital status. I take it she applied for the position and then was told to forget about it.

    That might not be the case, though. Maybe she didn’t apply but was told to not waste her time applying. Those facts would be important.

    Milhouse in reply to dr. frank. | September 10, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    The Dept. Head has the right to fire or non-renew the contract prior to tenure being offered.

    But not on prohibited grounds.

If (we shall hope when) Oberlin loses these lawsuits, the Trustees have to step in. They have a fiduciary responsibility to do so. I saw in a previous dispatch that their liability insurance carrier won’t cover all of the Gibson settlement, and if the college is rocked by one or two more, they might find themselves uninsurable unless they make some structural changes.
Will be interested to see how this plays out.

At this point, who would want to attend Oberlin?
If you were an Employer, and you were looking at a Prospective Employee… and observed a degree from Oberlin.. Would that throw up a red flag?

When I was a student at Oberlin circa 1980, the Dance Department was all about Modern Dancing–which was typified by visiting artists/dancers Eiko and Koma who performed one dance that resembled earth worms struggling through semi-frozen mud. I think it was about birth or transcendence or something conceptual. Flamenco is actual dance, not pointless writhing. Oberlin is all about the Pointless Writhing.

    Gary Mac in reply to SNAB. | September 14, 2020 at 6:37 am

    One would think “dance” is just that – dance. “Modern”……eye roll……you mean like “twerking” or is that classified as “Ethnic”?

    artichoke in reply to SNAB. | September 14, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    They don’t want any of the old heterosexual mating behavior to creep in there.

southern commenter | September 10, 2020 at 5:29 pm

What’s in the water in Ohio?

Sad thing is, she is likely liberal democrat in her leanings and likely hasn’t changed a bit despite getting hit by the insanity of their belief system.

She’s very heterosexual, teaching western culture and nothing to do with the current identity crap. They can’t allow their students to see too many like her or they might get some crazy traditional ideas that aren’t woke.

Hey compast chief- the The ‘3/5 compromise’ was incorporated to ensure the south didnt gain a plurality in the house that they didnt actually Earn, re; population /congressional seats…. see how that works?

Got to love the Oberlin stories . . . they just keep coming.
My highly-woke (and otherwise intelligent) son goes there and loves the place.

My experience in corporate America is that hiring people are carefully trained to just-say-nothing. I am older and pretty sure being past 55 hurt me in a few job interviews, but goodness-forbid anyone ever said, “we were looking for racial diversity or someone younger” (even though if that was true).

In this case, Ann Cooper Albright was trying to be kind to Prof Blumenfeld, and told her a truth. It may also be the case, that Oberlin wasn’t looking to give more people tenure and wanted to cycle through the low-cost buffet of Post-Grad labor.

Ironically, my son takes a dance class from Al Evangelista {exactly what one might guess} who was hired instead. He loves the class. Imopinion and experience, hiring is never “fair” and has always had its various discriminatory rules. For anyone to pretend it’s not or shouldn’t be is naive.

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