by Brody K. Truce
Senior Staff Writer
When Dr. Ann Marie Thomas took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) during a faculty retreat in January she never imagined the results would eventually lead to her termination.
“One of the Res Life people and someone from HR came to our retreat and administered the personality type indicator,” said Thomas. “We were told that this was part of a fun teambuilding activity.”
Thomas, the faculty coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts at Carter College, said she wasn’t surprised by her results.
“I learned that I’m an ENFP, which makes sense because I’ve always been a little disorganized and I’m sometimes late for meetings,” she explained. “I just didn’t realize that my P-ness was going to be a problem here at Carter College.”
Thomas claims that, after the retreat, she was targeted for her P-ness.
“Any time I arrived late for a meeting, people would chuckle and say things like, ‘That Ann Marie is such a P.’”
Thomas, who also skewed high on the “feeling” orientation of the MBTI, stated that the comments upset her and that she began to feel hypersensitive about her tardiness. Thomas also recounted that the Academic Provost suddenly began criticizing the messiness of her office and making reference to her P-orientation.
“If my stacks of paperwork and books were a problem before the Myers-Briggs, nobody ever mentioned it. After the MBTI, I felt like my P-ness was constantly under a microscope.”
Dr. Thomas was released from her position on May 1 via a memo, which cited tardy work, messy workspace and meeting truancy. Teresa Hunt, the college’s human resource manager, declined to comment on Dr. Thomas’s dismissal.
Thomas has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Carter College, claiming that the use of the MBTI resulted in “a hostile work environment that singled [her] out and disrespected the diversity of personality that should be embraced in higher education.”