Demand that UM reopen the Title IX case on Clayton Looney

Demand that UM reopen the Title IX case on Clayton Looney

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Why this petition matters

On March 7, 2020, UM received reports of racist language and behavior from MIS professor Clayton Looney, in which he called his own daughter the n-word, made disparaging jokes about Muslim people wearing “towel wraps,” Ethiopian and East African people, and dark-skinned Black people, specifically saying that he hopes his child grows up to be Black but not “too Black…like those Ethiopians”. The University concluded that the allegations against Looney did not constitute a workplace issue after months of waiting in October 2021. 

Looney refuses to take accountability for his actions and blames the text messages and video evidence on his ex-wife who was upset about a child custody dispute. Looney never explained why he used the n-word towards his daughter and did not explain what he learned in the “sensitivity training in the workplace course” that UM made him complete. 

Seth Bodnar has said the following in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion at UM:

“The University of Montana is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is free from all forms of discrimination”. 

“The inequities and injustices that persist today are evidence that there is much left to accomplish”. 

“We are called to follow the example of Dr. King by fighting for justice, equity, and the empowerment of all. His tireless, inspired efforts remind us that the responsibility for creating a more inclusive, just, and equitable world is a shared one”. 

“We commit to acknowledging that we must do better. We commit to listening to, learning from, and acting alongside BIPOC members of the UM family and broader community to root our institutional racism”. 

“As leaders in higher education, we acknowledge our particular responsibility to act - with empathy, humility, and proactive commitment - to foster positive, systemic change both on campus and in broader society. We recognize that our efforts to date have not been sufficient, that we have at times not understood the voices and needs of people of color in the UM family, and that dialogue and raised awareness, by themselves, will not solve these problems”. 

For students who have taken courses with Clayton Looney and feel that they have experienced discrimination in the classroom, there are steps to file a Title IX report. For students who are required to take his classes to graduate in their degree program but feel unsafe or uncomfortable being in a class with him, or feel that they will be unfairly discriminated against if they have to take a class with him, they can also file a Title IX report.

Title IX reports can be made online at

All reports can be made anonymously if students feel unsafe or uncomfortable coming forward.

If you are a student who is afraid to take his classes after learning of his blatantly racist, islamophobic, and xenophobic comments, this can constitute a hardship that can negatively impact your ability to progress through, and complete, your degree program.  

If you know anybody who has studied under Clayton Looney and has witnessed or experienced discriminatory behavior, send this information to them. 

It is of the utmost importance that Title IX reports are made in good faith and not just by anyone who wants to see him fired. False or baseless claims about Clayton Looney’s conduct will only discredit genuine reports from those with sincere intent. These Title IX claims will be the primary factor in determining the result of the University’s investigation if they decide to re-open it. Submitting credible and genuine Title IX complaints will push the University’s hand to re-open the case and help prove that racism cannot be kept in someone’s personal life without bleeding over into their professional life. 

Clayton Looney said to The Daily Montanan that he “learned a lot” in his required sensitivity training and that it helped him “move closer to [his] full potential as a human being and has put an end to the subject”. Racism cannot be shut and closed after one sensitivity course. Committing to being anti-racist is not a one-step process, but a lifelong commitment to learning, listening, and acting. Why does Clayton Looney, a fully grown adult man in his 50s, allowed to grow to his full potential while BIPOC students and Muslim students can’t? How can you feel safe in a learning environment when you know that your professor says racist things at home and thinks racist things about you or your peers? 

Tell UM that Clayton Looney’s behavior IS a workplace issue and is negatively impacting BIPOC students and Muslim students, who deserve to get an education free from discrimination and harm. Tell UM that if they are really committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, they MUST re-open the Title IX case against Clayton Looney and recognize that racism does not magically stop at the classroom door. 


248 have signed. Let’s get to 500!