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TAMU Board Member Wanted Journalism School to Churn Out Conservatives

  • Texas A&M board members sent text messages about wanting a journalism school that would churn out conservatives.
  • Jay Graham said in a text that he wanted students to “help direct our message” after graduation.
  • TAMU reached a $1 million settlement with Kathleen McElroy after she says the school dismissed her due to “DEI hysteria.”

Some members of Texas A&M University’s Board of Regents reportedly want the school’s journalism program to churn out conservatives.

Jay Graham, one of the Texas A&M board members who ousted a journalist after she accepted the job as the school’s journalism director, talked about wanting to have a program that would produce “high-quality conservative Aggie journalists into the market,” according to text messages seen by KBTX and the Texas Tribune.

“We were going to start a journalism department to get high-quality conservative Aggie students into the journalism world to help direct our message,” Graham said in a text message to fellow board member David Baggett obtained by KBTX.

Graham did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment sent to him and his company. TAMU also did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The TAMU Board of Regents ousted Kathleen McElroy in July after she accepted the job as the school’s director of journalism pending board approval. 

McElroy, who is Black, is a former New York Times editor. She also previously oversaw the journalism program at the University of Texas, and researched diversity, equity, and inclusion in media, according to The Associated Press

McElroy told The Texas Tribune that Texas A&M rescinded its job offer to her after “DEI hysteria” among Texas university leaders.

In the text messages, Graham called McElroy’s hiring “unacceptable” and says the board “can’t allow it to happen,” according to KBTX.

“I feel damaged by this entire process,” McElroy, who is a graduate of Texas A&M, told the outlet. “I’m being judged by race, maybe gender. And I don’t think other folks would face the same bars or challenges. And it seems that my being an Aggie, wanting to lead an Aggie program to what I thought would be prosperity, wasn’t enough.”

On Thursday, Texas A&M reached a settlement with McElroy for $1 million and admitted that “mistakes were made during the hiring process.”

Emails obtained by the TAMU student paper The Battalion showed that Hart Blanton, the school’s head of the Department of Communication and Journalism accused President President M. Katherine Banks of being dishonest during McElroy’s hiring process. Blanton claimed that his signature was forged on the second offer sent to McElroy, which was watered down.

Banks later resigned in the fallout of McElroy’s botched hiring. 

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