Harvard Bans Latino Professor After Sexual Allegation Results

A long-time Harvard professor has been stripped of status at the distinguished university due to his sexual misconduct

Photo: Unsplash/@pbernardon

Photo: Unsplash/@pbernardon

A long-time Harvard professor has been stripped of status at the distinguished university due to his sexual misconduct. While former government professor Jorge I. Dominguez, who specialized in Latin American Studies, went into retirement last year during his investigation, the teacher still had emeritus status at the school. Emeritus status means that even when a teacher is retired, they still have good standing at the school, are considered active professors, and can take part in campus activities. During the investigation, Domínguez was also placed on administrative leave.

This week, however, Dean of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay sent out an email to the faculty and said that after their investigation Domínguez would be stripped of his emeritus status and would be banned from the campus entirely. Gay said that the conclusion to ban Dominguez came after they realized the teacher had been behaving in inappropriate sexual ways for more than 40 years. At least 18 women came forward to report that Dominguez behaved inappropriately.

“[The Office for Dispute Resolution] findings reveal a longstanding pattern of behavior that, at several points, violated policies designed to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory educational and work environment,” Gay wrote in the email, according to The Harvard Crimson. “I am appalled by the Report’s findings and heartbroken for those who had to endure the behaviors described.”

The accusations against Dominguez revealed that some students would wear multiple layers of clothing because of his inappropriate touching, and they would also avoid late afternoon meetings with him.

“We believe the university and the government department failed to uphold a basic commitment: the provision of a safe and productive work environment,” the report said.

Last year, Terry Karl recounted her experience with Dominguez when she first began working there as an assistant professor in 1981. Karl said that she lost track of all the times he tried to kiss her, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. She couldn’t say much at the time because he had tenure at the school and she didn’t. The horrific details of her encounters with Dominguez included a dinner that Harvard hosted with Rafael Caldera, the former president of Venezuela. Dominguez introduced Karl to Caldera by saying in Spanish, “Conoce a Terry. Ella es mi esclava,” which means, “You know Terry. She is my slave.” The former president later told Terry to stay away from Dominguez.

Debra S. Katz, the lawyer represents some of the victims in the Dominguez investigation, released the following statement: “The University’s decision, which comes after a year-long investigation into our clients’ and others’ allegations of sexual misconduct, sends a powerful message to faculty members at the University and across the country that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It also signals to victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault everywhere that their voices will be heard.”

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