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A Professor Was Accused of Sexual Misconduct. Why is he Still on Campus?

Women speak up. A tenured professor is accused of sexual misconduct. Who does the University protect?

As professors field increasing public criticism for allegations of sexual misconduct, many demand fundamental shifts within the culture of academia. Often, the consequences—which rarely include the permanent removal of a faculty—fall short in their response to the pervasive nature of discrimination. Columbia, amid this intensifying scrutiny, has found itself at the center of the conversation, with an influx of lawsuits, investigations, and allegations in the last few years.

But while dramatic headlines provoke condemnation of the University, Columbia has never in its history formally dismissed a tenured faculty member who has been convicted of sexual misconduct, assault, or harassment, University President Lee Bollinger told Spectator in an interview last October.

All the tenured professors in this article, in fact, retained access to campus long after being found guilty or settling with Columbia.

According to a lawsuit filed by Jane Doe against former history and classics professor William Harris, he kissed and groped her repeatedly and denigrated her to their colleagues after she refused his advances. But although he reached a settlement with the University and retired nearly two years ago, Harris is still permitted access to campus, and in particular, to spaces within Butler Library where classics students often work, Spectator has found. He still lives in his Columbia-owned faculty apartment.

Read entire article at Columbia Spectator