As Collin College continues to face backlash for the “free speech” controversy that involved four faculty members, an administrator is now accusing a high-ranking provost of, among many things, racial discrimination in an Oct. 2019 dean appointment.
According to documents obtained by Star Local Media, Collin College Workforce and Professional Development Director Linda Wee lodged a series of formal complaints as early as April 2020 alleging that Courtyard Center Provost Bill King acted in a retaliatory way toward her and created an unsafe work environment.
“There has not been a single attempt by Dr. King to remedy the concerns I have repeatedly raised,” one of the complaints read. “As the sole Asian female Director working here, I am the target of concerted efforts to make the work environment intolerable. There is no concern of upholding dignity and respect, a core value of Collin College.”
Documents indicate that King issued a formal complaint response to Wee in March that stated that Wee took issue with an announcement of Associate Dean Karen Musa’s promotion to the Courtyard Center’s first executive dean, a position Wee had also applied for.
“Ms. Wee let me know that she did not agree with the appointment and she did not personally care for Ms. Musa,” King’s purported response read. “I was very surprised by her response based on Ms. Musa’s exemplary reputation college wide [sic].”
Under a heading titled “Executive Dean Search,” the complaint response noted, “The committee and I interviewed both internal and external candidates of varying backgrounds and experience levels and finally offered the position to Ms. Karen Musa. Karen has been a faculty member, Associate Dean and Dean on the credit side and has worked for Collin College for 22 [and a half] years. She has a stellar work history, many professional accomplishments and distinguished senior leadership and faculty support. She has recently applied for her doctorate in Higher Education Administration at Texas Tech University and Texas A&M – Commerce. Lastly, Karen was born near London, England.”
The sentence concerning Musa’s birthplace was a pivotal area of focus for a charge of discrimination document presented by Wee on March 25 to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Texas Workforce Commission’s Civil Rights Division.
“The obvious difference between them is that Ms. Musa is Caucasian (of British origin) and Ms. Wee is Asian (of Chinese descent, born in Singapore),” the document said, alleging that King committed a Civil Rights Act of 1964 violation in discriminating on the basis of race, national origin and/or sex.
When asked to confirm the veracity and status of the investigation, EEOC bilingual public affairs specialist Joseph Olivares said, “Title VII has strict confidentiality provisions where we’re prohibited by law from confirming or denying existing charges. We’re also prohibited from providing information about investigations and administrative resolutions. Information about specific charges becomes public only when the EEOC files a lawsuit – which is typically a last resort.”
A spokesperson for Collin College also declined to comment on Wee’s allegations, adding, “The college does not publicly comment on personnel matters in consideration of our employees’ privacy.”