Sanjay Gupta, former assistant professor of plant science at the University of Idaho, has settled with the university for $400,000, according to information from the Idaho Federation of Teachers. Mediation followed a district judge’s ruling in favor of Gupta, who said he was wrongfully dismissed for alleged sexual harassment of a lab employee. Gupta denied the harassment, and the judge found that Idaho denied Gupta due process and engaged in breach of contract in not considering a faculty appeal board’s decision in his favor. A university spokesperson acknowledged the settlement but did not provide further comment.
Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Ithaca College voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Tuesday. Members hope to bargain collectively with part-time, non-tenure-track instructors at Ithaca who voted to unionize last year, according to information from SEIU.
The college said in a statement that it remains “committed to working in partnership with all of our faculty within a system of shared governance to best serve the educational needs of our students.” It said it will bargain in good faith with the union once the election results are certified, but it remains committed to the position that full-time, non-tenure-track faculty not be included in the same bargaining unit as part-timers, “as those groups are separate and distinct.”
Part-time faculty members in Saint Louis University's College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education have voted to unionize, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The vote was 89 to 28. The Service Employees International Union has been campaigning to organize adjunct faculty members at St. Louis area colleges, and it has also won votes at St. Louis Community College and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as at St. Charles Community College, outside St. Louis.
Thomas Pogge, a professor of philosophy at Yale University who’s built his career on ethics and global justice, retaliated against a former student for resisting his advances and has been accused of sexually harassing numerous other young women, according to a federal civil rights complaint first reported on by BuzzFeed. Inside Higher Eddetailed some of the allegations against Pogge without naming him in 2014, but the recently filed complaint under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prevents gender discrimination in education, sheds new light on his alleged pattern of harassment.
In the 1990s, for example, a student at Columbia University, where Pogge was then teaching, accused him of sexually harassing her; the university eventually forbade Pogge from entering the philosophy department when the student was there, according to an affidavit from a Columbia professor included in the new complaint. Pogge moved on to Yale and allegedly harassed a student named Fernanda Lopez Aguilar, who eventually filed a Title IX complaint after reading additional allegations against Pogge by a third woman in a 2014 essay. The essay, which alleged that Pogge specifically targeted women from other countries who were unfamiliar with harassment reporting channels and were otherwise at the opposite end of the power dynamic he derided in his professional work, didn’t use Pogge’s name. But many philosophers assumed it was him, and recordings between the author and Pogge obtained by BuzzFeed suggest he read it and agreed with its premise.
Lopez Aguilar’s complaint alleges that Pogge offered her a salaried position in his Global Justice Program but rescinded it after she rejected his sexual advances during a trip to Chile. A hearing panel at Yale found that there was “substantial evidence” that Pogge had acted unprofessionally and failed to uphold standards of ethical behavior, but that there was insufficient evidence of sexual assault. Lopez Aguilar says Yale nevertheless attempted to buy her silence for $2,000.
The recent talk of Pogge’s alleged behavior -- which has for some time been an open secret in philosophy, according to professors interviewed by both BuzzFeed and Inside Higher Ed -- has yielded at least nine additional allegations of harassment from women in various countries, according to Lopez Aguilar’s complaint. Most allege offers of job offers, hotel rooms, plane tickets and other assistance from Pogge, even though he knew little about them or their work, beyond their physical appearance.
Thomas Conroy, university spokesperson, declined to comment for the article, and Pogge reportedly did not respond to initial requests for comment. (He did not respond to requests for comment from Inside Higher Ed in 2014.) But over the weekend, after the Buzzfeed story was published, Pogge posted a response on a university blog denying the allegations by Lopez Aguilar. He said her claims contained “various provable falsehoods and inconsistencies" and blamed the "familiar phenomena" of what he called false allegations in part on the “the intensely competitive worlds of academia and university politics."
William Paterson University in New Jersey must pay more than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a former professor of secondary and middle school education who says she was harassed and discriminated against on the basis of race and religion, a jury decided last week. Althea Hulton-Lindsay, former chair of her department, alleged various forms of mistreatment and said she was stripped of her responsibilities and saw her proposals rejected by Candace Burns, dean of the College of Education, because she is black and a born-again Christian, NorthJersey.com reported. For example, Hulton-Lindsay said, Burns once called campus security because she and colleague were praying at the colleague’s desk.
Hulton-Lindsay said that she filed several harassment complaints with William Paterson, but that they were never investigated and that she was eventually removed as department chair in 2012. The professor also alleged retaliation, saying that the action came a week after she filed a complaint, but the jury rejected that claim. Noreen Kemether, a deputy state attorney general who represented William Paterson during the trial, said that Hulton-Lindsay was not discriminated against and rather removed from her leadership role because she failed to work cooperatively with Burns and other colleagues.
Hampden-Sydney College announced on its Facebook page that General Jerry Boykin (at right) has accepted a contract for the next year to teach in the college's military leadership and national security program. The announcement appeared routine, but it followed General Boykin announcing on Facebook that his contract wasn't going to be renewed because of his statements against the Obama administration's policies to require schools and colleges to let transgender students use bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identity. The college issued a statement that this had never been the case, and that the general -- as an adjunct -- was hired from year to year. Further, the college said that it had been looking for "rotating" people to bring a range of expertise to the program, and that this had been the motivation to consider other candidates for the position.
General Boykin still insists he initially lost the contract due to his views on transgender issues. "The PC police tried to silence my voice," he wrote on Facebook. "I stood on my principles and others joined me and we pushed back the tide. Let your heart hold fast in the knowledge that no matter how much they attempt to control the conversation: they are not in the majority."