NEW ORLEANS — Loyola University President Tania Tetlow apologized to the school's community for their handling of allegations of racial bias by Sonya Duhé, the former director of Loyola's School of Communication and Design.
Duhé announced this Spring that she was leaving Loyola to become the dean of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. However, ASU rescinded their offer on Sunday after several of Duhé's former students complained of racial bias on her part.
"In social media posts and news interviews, students expressed anger and pain that centered on Dr. Duhé’s comments upon the expectations about appearance in broadcast journalism – dress and makeup, ideas of physical attractiveness, weight, and particularly, hair.," Tetlow wrote. "These preferences by broadcasters are rooted in broader bias based on race, nationality, gender and sexuality. Their decisions as employers about what types of people and traits are deemed 'professional' are the ultimate expressions of power, of who gets opportunity and who does not. In particular, women of color who are broadcast journalists feel the full brunt of the restrictive rules of gender about appearance and weight in addition to the seditious and disparate impact of race (like objections to natural hair.) "
"I hear with dismay the expressions of deep pain by students who felt that the implied limits of their opportunities were expressed as fact, without regret or acknowledgement of the deep injustice embedded in those limits. I apologize on behalf of the University that Loyola did not do a better job of fixing this situation that was, in fact, brought to our attention."
Duhe will not return to Loyola in any capacity, according to our partners at NOLA.com.
The search of a new director for The School of Communication and Design is currently ongoing. The School of Communication and Design is being overseen by interim director Lisa Collins.