A former UC San Diego employee said she was fired for pointing out the school's weaknesses in diversity -- the very issue she was hired to rectify.
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Ana Baiz-Torres said she was hired to point out flaws and bring awareness to UCSD's diversity issues in the wake of the notorious "Compton Cookout."
The February 2010 off-campus party ignited racial tensions on campus and brought the school into the national spotlight.
A few months later, Baiz-Torres was brought on as the first Director of Development for Diversity Initiatives.
"I was ecstatic about the opportunity," Baiz-Torres said.
Baiz-Torres was in charge of working with and raising money for minority student programs, something she felt the school needed to focus on.
Baiz-Torres' lawsuit stated that of all the UC campuses, UCSD has the lowest percentage of enrollment for underrepresented students: 1.6 percent African-American, 12.8 percent Chicano/Latino, and 0.4 percent for Native American students.
As Baiz-Torres tried to increase support for underrepresented students, she said her colleagues showed their true colors.
The lawsuit claims co-workers told her "minority students should not be complaining and should be thankful that they even made it to a UC campus."
When talking about the Compton Cookout, a senior director allegedly said, "Those radical students of color made a big thing out of nothing."
The more Baiz-Torres spoke up, the more hostility she said she received.
Eight months later, she was let go.
"I was escorted off the campus and it was shameful," said Baiz-Torres, who added she has never been terminated from a job before.
Even though UCSD Chancellor Marye Ann Fox made a public commitment to diversity, the lawsuit said it was all a show.
"[It was] mere window dressing to stave off a PR nightmare," said Joe Duran, Baiz-Torres' attorney.
"What the goal was to get these thousands of people who were protesting at the campus to calm down and go home," Baiz-Torres said.
Baiz-Torres said she is torn about suing The Regents of the University of California. Both she and her husband received their undergraduate education from UC Berkeley.
However, she said she had to do it for the students.
"I feel strongly for them, I have to carry out this lawsuit," Baiz-Torres said.
She is asking for compensation for the remainder of her one-year contract as well as an undisclosed amount in damages.
10News contacted UC San Diego, but a representative said the school does not comment on pending litigation.
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