North Texas

UNT Staffer Who Sparked ‘Reverse Racism' Controversy Resigns

The University of North Texas spokesperson at the center of a controversy of a student-led petition to name a new campus building after a woman or person of color has resigned.

In an email sent earlier this month, Nancy Kolsti responded to the student behind the petition drive, calling the effort "reverse racism."

UNT confirms Kolsti — a 26-year employee of the university — submitted her resignation Tuesday, citing personal reasons.

The petition drive was launched by Misaki Collins, a UNT student who noticed just two buildings on campus were named after a woman, and none after a person of color. The petition urged UNT administrators to consider doing so with a new residence hall.

"It was really upsetting," Collins said. "Because I'm talking about how diverse UNT is and how great it is and how much I love this school, and there's a lack of representation in a lot of different aspects."

Kolsti's e-mail to Collins — sent from a personal account — touched off a campus controversy.

"Insisting that UNT must have a residence hall named after another woman or a 'person of color' when there are other deserving individuals is imposing a quota system, and, to me, that is a form of reverse racism," the email read, in part.

When Collins made the email public, UNT responded.

"We encourage our students to take an active role in helping to shape the university and applaud the actions of our student government to petition for values in which they believe," a statement read. Of the e-mail, the school said, "UNT also supports free expression from all of its community members — including university employees."

Contact Us