Progress in dealing with sexual harassment (2)

Posted: June 12, 2013 by Jender in Good news, sexual harassment

Another post in response to this one.

At my department, there was this senior professor who was known to prey on young female students. His behaviour was often inappropriate. Many years ago (about 15 years) before I joined this department, one graduate student complained about it and was supported by a faculty member. The complaint was heard and the inappropriate behaviour was “punished” by lowering the merit rating of this professor for the year. Once the student graduated, he asked for the penalty to be reversed and it was. When I joined that department and was told that story, I was really appalled that the university cared so little. However, there is a happy ending to this story. Last year, this professor, now retired but still present in the department, had inappropriate behaviour with one of our graduate students. She complained about it. Luckily she did to that same colleague who, years ago, had supported the former graduate student through the process. He again did the same thing and took the case to the office that now takes care of such things. The retired professor is now banned from the building where we have our offices and cannot attend philosophy events. I take this to be a positive story because it shows that things have evolved a great deal, at least at my place.

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