Category Archives: Workplace Climate


Laura Kipnis Says She Faced Another Title IX Investigation, This Time for Her Book

Laura Kipnis, the Northwestern University professor whose Chronicle article titled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” sparked a chain of events that led to a Title IX investigation of her, faced another inquiry, The New Yorker reports. That one was prompted by the publication of her book Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, she said.

In her initial essay in The Chronicle, Ms. Kipnis argued that a culture of protection rather than empowerment around sexual issues on campuses was wro…


UC-Berkeley’s Former Chancellor Will Be Paid $434,000 on Leave

Nicholas B. Dirks, a former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, will be paid $434,000 during his coming year on leave, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Mr. Dirks announced in August 2016 that he would step down from his leadership position.

Under the university’s policy, Mr. Dirks qualifies for a year off with pay before returning to the classroom as a history professor. Executives must work in the university system for at least five years to receive full pay during a yea…


Caltech Professor Resigns Following Harassment Investigation

A professor at the California Institute of Technology who was found to have harassed two of his graduate students has resigned.

Christian Ott, a professor of theoretical astrophysics, will leave Caltech at the end of 2017, as first reported by BuzzFeed. In keeping with a previous suspension, he must stay away from the campus in the interim, the university said in an email.

In 2016 the university announced it had placed Mr. Ott on leave after an investigation found “unambiguous gender-based haras…


Steven Salaita, Whose Revoked Job Offer Inflamed Higher Ed, Says He’s Leaving Academe

Steven G. Salaita, the long-embattled professor known for a rescinded job offer and an ensuing fracas at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says he’s leaving the profession.

In a Facebook post dated Saturday, Mr. Salaita announced that despite looking for employment on four continents, he had failed to find an academic job.

“A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management,” he wrote in the post, which has been shared by m…


Adjunct at BYU-Idaho Says She Lost Her Job for Facebook Post Supporting Homosexuality

An adjunct professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho says she lost her job over a Facebook post in which she asserted that “homosexuality and transgenderism are not sins,” The Washington Post reported.

Brett A. Crandall, a spokesman for the private institution affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, confirmed that the university had severed its relationship with Ruthie Robertson, the adjunct. He didn’t answer further questions and pointed to the university’s offici…


Trinity College Scholar Whose Remarks Led to Campus Closure Is Cleared After Review

Updated (7/14/2017, 9:03 p.m.) with comments from Professor Williams’s lawyer and from the editor of Campus Reform.

A Trinity College professor was suspended last month after his Facebook comments on race and law enforcement led to the Connecticut campus to close briefly. But a review has concluded that those remarks are in fact protected by academic freedom, according to a statement issued on Friday by the institution’s president.

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, the president, said in the statement that…


U. of California System Changes How It Responds to Sexual Harassment and Violence

The University of California system has new policies to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty and staff members, the university announced in a news release on Thursday. Changes will be in place systemwide by September 1.

The changes include a clear timeline for completing investigations; chancellor or chancellor-designee approval of discipline proposed for a staff member’s supervisors; and informing complainants, as well as respondents, of all outcomes.

In the news release, Kath…


Trinity Professor Whose Comments Drew Threats Is Put on Leave

The Trinity College professor whose online comments about racial issues and the police drew national attention, including threats that led the Connecticut institution to shut down briefly, has been placed on paid leave, the college announced late Monday.

Trinity’s president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, wrote that “a leave is in the best interest” of both the college and the faculty member, Johnny Eric Williams, an associate professor of sociology. Ms. Berger-Sweeney added that the dean of the faculty…


More Than 4,000 Sign Letter of Support for Princeton Professor Targeted by Fox News

Updated (6/2/2017, 3:22 p.m.) with statement from a faculty member at Princeton.

More than 4,000 scholars across the country have signed a statement of solidarity for a Princeton University professor who was threatened and insulted after a clip of her speaking at Hampshire College’s commencement was posted by Fox News.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton, canceled public lectures this week after she received emailed death threats and sexist an…


UC-Berkeley Fires Professor Accused of Harassing Students

The University of California at Berkeley has fired a professor after a committee found that he sexually harassed four students. The professor denies the allegations.

Blake Wentworth, an assistant professor in the department of South and Southeast Asian studies, had been suspended since June of last year in connection with the claims.

“The committee found by clear and convincing evidence that Wentworth had engaged in the misconduct and recommended his dismissal,” a news release from the unive…