Education

Former Employee Sues Collin College, Alleges Racial Discrimination

Another former employee has filed a lawsuit against Collin College.
Another former employee has filed a lawsuit against Collin College. illustration by Sarah Schumacher
Already facing several lawsuits, Collin College has yet again been sued by a former employee.

Administrator Linda Wee resigned from the school in fall 2021, claiming race-based discrimination. Earlier this month, she named Collin College in a lawsuit alleging that she faced harassment and retaliation while working there.

In addition to the school and its president, the board of trustees and three other individuals are named as defendants.

The suit claims that Collin College violated Wee’s rights in one instance of a broader “custom” of discrimination against minorities. It also claims that retaliation against “employees who speak out against civil rights violations is widespread and established within the College.”

Despite having received rave work reviews, Wee alleges that her application for another position within the school was “summarily rejected.” She learned that another woman received the job in part because the woman was "born near London, England,” the suit says.

Wee, who was born in Singapore, said her supervisor told her that the school wanted to hire someone “who would be able to present themselves to C-suite executives.” She also claims that the supervisor made her feel uncomfortable “by looking at her chest.”

This isn’t the first time that Collin College has faced accusations of racial discrimination.

One former employee, a native of Antigua and Barbuda, sued the school last year over race-based retaliation and discrimination claims. Separately, a Black former professor told the Observer that she quit following years of racial harassment and classified the work environment as “suffocating.”

Collin College President Neil Matkin has been accused of racism, too. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last year that he mimicked a Jewish predecessor by placing a bowl on his head. He also allegedly “joked” that he couldn’t tell the difference between two Black administrators.

Two white former professors who signed an open letter calling for the removal of Confederate monuments have also sued the school over claims they were illegally fired. History professor Michael Phillips, who co-authored the 2017 Dallas Morning News opinion piece, said the latest lawsuit further reveals a persistent problem.

“This is obviously not a rare event. It's unusual for a two-year college to be constantly the subject of litigation,” he said. “This is a lot of litigation over really substantial issues, and if the elected board was doing its job, it would take this seriously and it would look into it. It would conduct its own investigation.”

In an emailed statement, a Collin College spokesperson said the school was aware of Wee's lawsuit. “The college looks forward to defending the claims in court and is exploring its legal options, including counterclaims, which may be available after further review and assessment,” she wrote.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter