Posted October 2nd, 2017.
BY ANDREW KESHNER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A longtime Columbia University professor sexually harassed a student and then badmouthed her because she spurned his lecherous advances, a new lawsuit alleges.
The suit, filed Monday by an anonymous doctoral student, alleges 79-year-old Professor William Harris routinely made passes at her.
Harris, who specializes in Greek and Roman history, angled on getting the 29-year-old student into bed from 2014 to 2015, the Manhattan Federal Court suit claims.
As a result, the woman had to withdraw from the 2015-2016 school year to get counseling, she charges.
Harris – who has taught at the school for more than 50 years – understood his actions “violated sexual harassment policies and [were] beyond all possible bounds of decency.”
Throughout his time at the university, the bigshot academic “has harassed female assistants, students and fellow faculty members,” the lawsuit insisted.
What’s worse, the suit said the school knew of Harris’ behavior but was “deliberately indifferent.”
The student, who’s still at the school pursuing her dissertation, told the Daily News she felt it was important she take a stand for herself and for others.
She said Harris teaches twice a week on the floor above her office and sees him on him campus time and again.
“Columbia University has not placed any meaningful restrictions on him,” she claimed.
Jennifer Siegel, one of the student’s lawyers, said the case revealed the school’s “systemic pattern of turning the other way and turning a blind eye.”
Harris told The News he had no comment on the allegations.
In a statement, Columbia said, “We treat any claim of harassment or other gender-based misconduct in our community with the utmost seriousness, but we do not comment in the press on allegations made in legal complaints.”