For the past four months, I have been compiling sexual harassment/assault cases in academia – harassment or assault on students or staff that is carried out by professors, administrators, or entire departments. It took several months for me to track down and compile old cases. Today, the number of documented cases sits at 364…come back in a few weeks and I promise the number will have increased.
Now, I simply maintain the compilation by searching for new cases once a week. I would go crazy if I immersed myself in this every day, so I simply take a few moments on Mondays to check out what the internet has to offer. Once a week I search for combinations of “sexual harassment”, “sexual assault”, “professor”, “dean”, and similar terms. What surprises me the most is that EVERY week I find at least one case of sexual harassment/assault in academia. At least one professor, dean, or president who makes inappropriate comments, touches students or colleagues, asks for sexual favors in exchange for grades, assaults students or colleagues. Or, I find a lawsuit that was filed in the past week – a case of sexual harassment/assault that is still pending. EVERY week.
This morning? This morning I again had something new to add to the post. I found four typical examples of typical sexual harassment and typical sexual assault:
- 2016: Youssef Taleb, Northern Virginia Community College. FIRED/JAILED/SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES FILED. http://www.afro.com/northern-va-professor-charged-with-sexual-assault-on-students/
- 2016: Yale University. INVESTIGATION ONGOING. http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/05/21/philosophy-professor-accused-of-sexual-harassment/ AND http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/05/22/philosophy-professor-denies-wrongdoing-provides-polygraph/
- 2016: Virginia State University. LAWSUIT FILED. http://wtvr.com/2016/05/18/4-female-employees-sue-vsu/
- 2016: Florida International University. LAWSUIT FILED. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/former-fiu-architecture-dean-accused-of-raping-student-on-study-abroad-trip-8435734
How anyone can look at this list and not recognize that academia has a problem is beyond me. Sexual harassment and assault by professors/deans/provosts/presidents are not flukes. Please don’t tell me they are. Do something about it, academia. Do something.