Matthew Poling, the president of the group, said that members did not approve of Dr. McElroy’s work promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her advocacy was the focus of an article in a conservative publication, Texas Scorecard, shortly after her appointment.
At about the time of Dr. McElroy’s hiring, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed a law banning diversity, equity and inclusion offices at the state’s public universities.
“We felt she wasn’t a good fit from that,” Dr. Poling said, confirming that his organization had emailed A&M’s leadership shortly after her appointment was announced. “I think identity politics have done a lot of damage to our country, and the manifestation of that on campus, the D.E.I. ideology, has done damage to our culture at A&M.”
Dr. McElroy, a 1981 graduate of Texas A&M, was brought on after a yearlong search, under an initiative by its president, M. Katherine Banks, who wanted to revive journalism as a degree-granting program.
In addition to having a Ph.D. and decades of journalism experience, Dr. McElroy had been a devoted alumna, helping start a fund to support The Battalion, the campus newspaper. Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts had been a small part of her journalism and academic career, she said.