Ex-admin claims UWO discriminated against him for being gay

Ex-admin claims UWO discriminated against him for being gay

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development found no probable cause to pursue the Brandon Miller case after reviewing the discriminatory complaint the former associate vice chancellor for enrollment management filed against University of Wisconsin Board of Regents last year.

On Jan. 8, 2018, UW Oshkosh fired Miller, and on March 20, 2018, Miller filed a complaint against the Board of Regents with the DWD, claiming that he had received discriminatory comments from Chancellor Andrew Leavitt and the former Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cheryl Green for being a homosexual white male.

According to the court documents, the University “asserts that Miller was terminated because he behaved rudely toward both co-workers and superiors and because he failed to complete assignments in a timely or competent manner.”

The court documents also state that Miller distributed pictures of his genitals to community members online. No formal report was filed by the community member who informed Leavitt, so the University did not pursue the case further.

In the complaint, Miller said that because he was a white male, Leavitt advised him against applying for the full-time vice chancellor of student affairs position while he was serving in the interim role.

Miller alleges that Leavitt told him “black women typically serve in that role.”

The Advance-Titan reached out to Leavitt for comment, and Leavitt declined to comment.

According to the court documents, Leavitt denies the allegations against Miller. Prior to Miller serving as the interim vice chancellor of student affairs, Petra Roter, a caucasian woman, served in the full-time position for 11 years.

According to the DWD’s findings, “Regardless if Leavitt expressed a preference for hiring a black woman as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Miller did not apply for the position. Absent Miller’s application, BR [UW System Board of Regents] could not have discriminated against him when it hired Green.”

In May 2017, Green was hired as the vice chancellor of student affairs and Miller returned to his original position of the associate vice chancellor for enrollment management.

Miller’s discriminatory complaint alleged that Green later made homophobic comments to him, saying, “You should be lucky to be this high up in light of being gay,” and “I forgot you people are able to marry these days.”

The defense denies that Green made these statements.

According to records obtained from the DWD, the University argues that Miller had issues working with women and lacked the professionalism necessary to perform his job. In a software meeting, Miller “behaved outrageously” and was verbally abusive to the three women present at the meeting.

On two separate occasions, Miller underperformed in writing reports and failed to make the formatting changes requested by Green; therefore, she was forced to properly complete them because Miller failed to fulfill his job.

The court report said Miller’s response to this allegation states: “Dr. Miller prepared the report exactly how she wanted it prepared … Ms. Green gave Dr. Miller no feedback when he presented the completed report to her. No matter what he gave her, it would not have been good enough to meet her needs in light of her discriminatory and retaliatory acts and words and thoughts.”

Another incident took place on Jan. 31, 2017 when Miller went to Arizona for an advisory board meeting representing UWO. When he did not attend the meeting, the University contacted his emergency contact and the police gained entry to his hotel, where they found Miller’s possessions, but not Miller. Upon returning to UWO, Miller offered no explanation as to why he missed the meeting.

According to court documents, another incident took place during the Dec. 12, 2017 Chancellor’s Late Night Breakfast when Green and Miller were serving students food.

“Following the event, he told another staff member that Dr. Green was a racist, that she had only spoken to black students and had given more food to black students,” according to the report.

The University responded in saying that Green gave all students fair portions and engaged with students equally.

The tipping point for Green took place in Dec. 2017 when she asked Miller to complete a report for a meeting with an accreditation agency the next day.

The report goes on to say that Miller told Green, “I’ll see what I can get done before I leave today but it’s late and I have one hour before it’s 4:30. If it’s not done, oh well. I [am] headed to a trip out of town … If I get it done, I will. If I don’t, I don’t.”

The report states that Miller reached out to human resources to discuss the discriminatory comments he received, but Leavitt and Green were never informed about the complaints.

Miller also scheduled a meeting with Leavitt to discuss the “discriminatory and retaliatory” treatment he received. Miller was terminated before the meeting took place.

Miller filed an appeal to the DWD’s findings of no probable cause. A telephone pre-hearing conference is scheduled for March 11 to determine whether or not there is probable cause to pursue Miller’s discriminatory complaint.

The A-T reached out to Miller’s attorney Peter Culp and did not receive a response.

Green is now serving as the interim vice chancellor at UW-Whitewater. Dr. Art Munin has stepped into the position of Interim vice chancellor of student affairs.