The professor who thought he was a basketball player

Duck basketball coach Dana Altman isn’t the only employer who’s willing to look the other way for someone with a checkered past, if they’ll bring in some revenue. The NYT reports on the University of Chicago’s decision to hire a well-funded professor from UNC without asking too many questions about his history. It didn’t end well:

The professor, Jason Lieb, made unwelcome sexual advances to several female graduate students at an off-campus retreat of the molecular biosciences division, according to a university investigation letter obtained by The New York Times, and engaged in sexual activity with a student who was “incapacitated due to alcohol and therefore could not consent.”

Chicago then decided to fire him, but he resigned first.

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8 Responses to The professor who thought he was a basketball player

  1. Andy Stahl says:

    Former UO biology professor hits the nail on the head in the linked NYT article: “But Joe Thornton, a faculty member in the department who raised objections before the vote, said in an interview, ‘I don’t think that’s the right standard to use.’ He added, ‘It may be a legal standard, but we should be capable of making more nuanced judgments about the environment we’re creating for human beings that are doing and learning science.'”

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting that the faculty vote was unanimous, however, suggesting that Thornton’s nuanced view was in favor of hiring a possible sexual predator

    • just different says:

      This is nauseating. Hiring committees are as a rule wildly judgmental about blemishes in a candidate’s academic record that have no predictive value whatsoever. But when it comes to hiring someone who was “only under investigation” for a crime–which seems to have remarkable predictive validity of future behavior–then all of a sudden they become so open-minded their brains fall out.

    • Anonymous says:

      And where was Thornton and the rest of the faculty during the RETREAT??? If I hired someone that I was concerned about there’s no way they would be unsupervised in a situation like that (suspected predator, drunk graduate students)

  2. uomatters says:

    So should the UO administration be allowed – or even required – to tell future employers if a UO faculty member has been found responsible for sexual misconduct in an administrative proceeding? I’m told that under current policy this is not allowed. Any thoughts?

    • just different says:

      As long as universities are required to comply with Title IX, then any history involving sexual assault must be reported to any academic employer. That doesn’t mean I personally think it’s a good idea, only that it’s a necessary consequence of Title IX.

  3. Kevin Hornbuckle says:

    By your own standards, Prof. Harbaugh, faculty members should be extra-judicially ruined for life if they can’t prove themselves innocent of thought crimes. Your sleazy smears against Altman are unconscionable and demonstrate your willingness to make false allegations against UO employees and students.

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