Sexual Harassment at University of Illinois

August 28, 2019

Six professors and one staff member have been credibly accused of sexual harassment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since last year, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR Illinois. In three cases previously unknown to the public, accused professors were allowed to quietly leave the university or continue to draw a salary following or during investigations. In one instance, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine allegedly made lewd comments and showed up at three different women’s homes uninvited. The professor, Valarmathi Thiruvanamalai, denied wrongdoing. He was placed on leave, banned from campus and given a separation agreement that extended his pay for nine months. The university also agreed to keep the terms of Thiruvanamalai’s departure secret, according to NPR Illinois and ProPublica. He secured a teaching position elsewhere.

Administrators reportedly said that the university has stopped using confidentiality clauses. Both the campus and the greater University of Illinois system have also formed several task forces and committees to examine faculty misconduct.

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