Category Archives: Workplace Climate

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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…

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Yale Dean Is Suspended in Connection With Offensive Yelp Reviews

Yale University on Thursday suspended one of its deans in connection with a series of classist and sometimes racially charged reviews on the website Yelp, the Associated Press reports.

June Chu, the suspended administrator, didn’t immediately return calls or comments to the Associated Press on Thursday. Ms. Chu, dean of Pierson College, fell under scrutiny after the Yale Daily News reported she had used the crowdsourcing website to take shots at restaurants and businesses around New Haven, Conn.

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Nashville State Is Accused of Spying on Investigation of Its Oppressive Climate

Nashville State Community College maintains such an oppressive climate for its faculty members that it sought to monitor and interfere with efforts to ask them about it, according to a report commissioned by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Nashville State’s executives sought to surreptitiously identify which faculty members were being confidentially interviewed by investigators from Middle Tennessee State University. Several administrators, including George H. Van Allen, the college’s presid…

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Duke Professor Resigns After Facing Discipline for Challenging Diversity Training

Paul Griffiths, a professor of Catholic theology at Duke University, has resigned after facing discipline for his barbed criticisms of diversity training, a fellow faculty member confirmed.

Mr. Griffiths, who did not respond to emails seeking comment, has abruptly announced his decision to resign, effective in the spring of 2018, according to Thomas Pfau, a professor of English and fellow member of the Duke Divinity School’s faculty. The resignation followed months in which Mr. Griffiths clashed…

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3 Deans Are Suddenly Dismissed at Florida A&M

Florida A&M University’s deans of pharmacy, journalism, and education were dismissed on Monday, effective immediately.

Rodner Wright, the interim provost, announced that Ann Kimbrough, of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication; Michael Thompson, of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Traki L. Taylor, of the College of Education, had been removed from their posts. Interim replacements will take their positions immediately, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The di…

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Sociology Chair Resigns at Colorado-Boulder After Alleged Harassment in Department

The chair of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s sociology department, Don Grant, will step down from the post, though he denies he decided to leave because of recent allegations of harassment among the department’s faculty members, the Daily Camera reports.

The newspaper reports that Mr. Grant emailed the announcement of his plans to the faculty members on Thursday. He later told the Camera: “I have thought about doing this for the past several months, long before any of these false rumors …

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After a Week of Protest, U. of Utah Cancer Researcher Is Reinstated

A week after the University of Utah announced that the chief executive and director of its Huntsman Cancer Institute was leaving her post, she’s been reinstated.

In a written statement, the university’s president, David W. Pershing, confirmed the decision to keep Mary Beckerle.

“Effective today we have changed HCI’s reporting structure, and Dr. Beckerle will report directly to the president of the university,” the statement said. “I am grateful for her committed leadership and look forward to wo…

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Top Researcher’s Departure Prompts Faculty Protest at U. of Utah Institute

After 11 years as chief executive and director of the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, Mary Beckerle will leave the posts, a move that has faculty members upset.

The university’s senior vice president for health sciences, Vivian Lee, notified the faculty in an email on Monday but did not offer an explanation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

At a meeting on Tuesday morning, faculty members could be heard chanting, “Vivian Lee has got to go” and “Who do we want? Mary!” They also…

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Berkeley Settles Suits With Law Dean and Assistant Who Accused Him of Harassment

Updated (4/15/2017, 8:10 p.m.) with further comment from Ms. Sorrell.

The University of California at Berkeley has settled lawsuits with Sujit Choudhry, a former law-school dean, and Tyann Sorrell, a former executive assistant who accused him of repeatedly sexually harassing her, the Associated Press reports.

Under the terms of the settlement — which was reached in March but not disclosed until Friday — Mr. Choudhry will pay $50,000 to Ms. Sorrell’s lawyers and another $50,000 to a charity of he…

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Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Ex-Employee at UC-Riverside in Gender-Bias Case

A jury has ordered the University of California to pay a former employee on its Riverside campus $2.5 million for violating state law when it fired her after she reported gender discrimination, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Michele Coyle, who was chief campus counsel until 2012, filed a civil complaint in 2015 alleging that she and other female staff members had been the victims of “rampant gender discrimination” by the university’s executive vice chancellor at the time, Dallas M. Rabenstein.

T…