At least, that’s my take on this case reported today at Inside Higher Education.
It doesn’t get any clearer than this. A tenured, full professor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania was canned after fraternizing and imbibing with his undergraduate students, regaling them with explicit descriptions of his sexual exploits and indicating which of them might be worthy of his future attention. Apparently it wasn’t this lecherous prof’s first offense, either. Although he was defended by his faculty union on grounds of procedural mistakes with respect to processing complaints, I can’t see where there’s anything else to discuss here, and a Pennsylvania appeals court rightfully upheld the dismissal. This was egregious misconduct and the perpetrator should indeed have been fired, case closed. It shouldn’t have taken a second time, either.
Ah, if only “sexual harassment” policies on college campuses were always so uncomplicated. But as Peter Wood wrote here last week, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has a somewhat broader view of the subject.