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Yes, that is definitely illegal, it's called blackmail and racist to boot. • The legality of it would likely depend upon the status of the institution whether publicly or privately funded. Even so, it is unlikely it would be grounds for civil action and most assuredly not for criminal action. An associate professor or teaching assistant is not tenured and therefore can be dismissed for almost any reason, including budget issues. That being said proving a case such as described would be very difficult if the party involved wished to pursue any possible legal remedies. It is, however, a breach of ethics and also extremely unfair to all of the students especially the ones being promoted (if indeed they are) without having earned the right. Those students regardless of race, ethnicity, etc. are being deprived of their education. ► This issue is obviously sticky. Administration can argue, with justification, that students who earn admission to the college are expected to be able to succeed and that a professor's responsibility is to help students to become proficient in the course material. Professors can, if they want to, pitch a course so that everyone passes or no one passes. Administration might be arguing that of the students who qualified for admission, at least half ought to be able to pass a course, if the professor sets the course level correctly and uses effective methods of teaching and evaluation. On that view, administration would not be saying that professors should give passing grades to students who do not deserve them, but that they should conduct the courses in such a way that students who earned admission are able to earn passing grades. To that argument, a professor might argue that such an approach requires that courses be dumbed down. In addition, administration and staff would have to come to terms about why a specific group was targeted as a justification for that approach to teaching and learning. I think that those issues, and others like them, can be resolved without either compromising a program or engaging in unethical behavior about race or ethnicity.

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Q: Is it illegal for a college to tell adjunct faculty that their teaching contracts will not be renewed unless they give passing grades to a majority of black students?
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