Columbia Professor Accused Of Sexual Harassment Retires: Report

Posted December 20th, 2017.

As It Appeared On
Patch

Longtime Columbia University professor William Harris retired as part of a settlement for a sexual harassment lawsuit.

By Brendan Krisel, Patch National Staff

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, NY — A Columbia University professor accused of sexually harassing a graduate student has retired from his post at the ivy league institution, according to reports.

William Harris, a professor of Greco-Roman history in Columbia’s history department, retired Monday as part of a settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit, the New York Times reported. Columbia University announced the longtime professor’s retirement in an email sent to students and faculty, the Times reported.

Harris stepped down from his teaching position in October when a former graduate student accused him of making repeated physical and sexual advances toward her. The woman accused Harris of forcing her against a desk and kissing her, according to a lawsuit claims. The student also claimed in the suit that Harris put his mouth on her breast.

The woman — who remains anonymous — sued Columbia University under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination by higher education institutions receiving federal funding. Her lawyer, David Sanford, described the lawsuit’s settlement as “excellent” in a statement sent to the New York Times.

“Columbia is now a safer institution because of Jane Doe’s courage,” the lawyer said in a statement. “Jane Doe can proceed in life knowing she made a material difference in one of the premier institutions of higher education and meaningfully participated in a cultural moment of significance for all Americans.”

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