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Thursday, October 8, 2009
Naval Academy Accused of Illegally Retaliating Against Affirmative Action Critic
Bruce E. Fleming, a civilian who works at the academy as a professor of English, says he has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging that top administrators there denied him a deserved merit-pay raise in retaliation for his criticisms of the institution's minority admissions policies. Mr. Fleming drew widespread media attention after arguing in an editorial published in a local newspaper that the academy essentially operates a separate, less-demanding admissions track for minority applicants, in violation of legal guidelines set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Fleming's complaint he was not given a deserved raise is not simply a matter of having a different subjective asssessment than top academy officials of his worth. He is claiming that his colleagues and department chair recommended him for a substantial raise, and higher-ups disregarded normal procedures--and his solid performance review and high performance ranking among his colleagues--to avoid giving him any raise at all.
The Naval Academy, which has denied Mr. Fleming's past criticisms of its admissions policies, is not commenting on his allegations of retaliation, saying that as a matter of policy it does not discuss such personnel matters.