Latest Sexual Harassment Case on Chicago Campus Shines Light on Epidemic at U.S. Universities
Apr 20, 2016
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 20, 2016 – Yet another university professor has resigned following an investigation revealing he violated the University of Chicago’s sexual misconduct policy.
A recent media exposure in Chicago by the Times revealed that 43-year-old molecular biologist Jason Lieb, who had been hired away from Princeton University, hurriedly resigned from his position after an investigation uncovered details indicating he violated the University of Chicago’s sexual misconduct policy. Sexual harassment of any type is not being as readily tolerated at educational institutions across the nation. A spate of revelations about the dismal handling such complaints received in the past have made dramatic national headlines.
During the hiring process to appoint Lieb, a number of faculty members were sent anonymous emails indicating Lieb had a history of sexual harassment complaints against him, not only at Princeton, but also the University of North Carolina. It raises questions about how he was hired in light of such allegations and his admission during his interview that he had a sexual relationship with a lab student while in North Carolina.
According to the information released by the Times, who obtained the University of Chicago’s investigation report, Lieb allegedly had sexual relations with a drunken student, who was allegedly unable to consent to such activity. Furthermore, numerous female graduate students came forward with stories of Leib’s sexual advances initiated at an off-campus retreat.
Over the last year the media has detailed numerous other breaches of sexual harassment policies at various universities across the nation, the most notable being astronomer Geoff Marcy at the University of California, Berkeley. It was also a year of uncomfortable sexual harassment revelations at the California Institute of Technology (CIT) and the University of Wyoming.
In the Wyoming case, a faculty member was investigated for sexual harassment while he worked at the University of Arizona in 2004. He managed to get the Wyoming position in 2008 despite having been accused of and investigated for sexual harassment.
In the CIT case, Christian Ott, an astrophysicist, was also found guilty of violating sexual harassment polices. Ott apparently fired a graduate student due to his romantic feelings for her. He was banned from campus on unpaid leave. He is currently going through nine months of rehabilitative training. Serial harassers are getting away with re-offending because universities appear keep such information private.
“It’s vital that universities share such information in order to halt serial predators in their tracks,” said respected harassment attorney, Timothy Coffey. “In the meantime, if you are working for a professor and are facing sexual harassment in your workplace, speak to a competent harassment attorney and find out what your rights are and how to file a lawsuit.”
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