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HARVARD Prof Retiring After Harassment Allegations

Issued: 2018-03-06


“I am retiring from my job at Harvard at the end of this semester,” Dominguez wrote in an email to colleagues Tuesday. “I have stepped down immediately from my role at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and my other very few remaining academic coordinating roles.”

Chair of the Government department Jennifer L. Hochschild shared Dominguez’s message with department affiliates in an email Tuesday afternoon. She wrote Dominguez’s retirement will not affect Harvard’s ongoing attempts to investigate allegations of sexual harassment made against the professor. The rights and privileges normally provided to retired faculty members will take into account the outcome of the University's investigation, according to FAS spokesperson Anna Cowenhoven.

The University placed Dominguez on “administrative leave” Sunday evening.

“I want to underscore that Professor Dominguez is currently on administrative leave, and his forthcoming retirement does not change the ongoing review of the facts and circumstances that have come to light,” Hochschild wrote in her email.

FAS Dean Michael D. Smith also wrote that Dominguez's retirement "does not change the full and fair process of review" in an emailed statement Tuesday. Smith added that Dominguez will remain on leave until the review is concluded.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published a Feb. 27 article revealing that at least 10 women were alleging Dominguez had committed repeated acts of sexual harassment across the past three decades. The Chronicle published a second piece Sunday in which more women came forward to accuse Dominguez of sexual misconduct, bringing the total count of possible victims to 18 women.

While on administrative leave, Dominguez will continue to receive a salary but will not allowed to fulfill any of his teaching and administrative duties, according to FAS spokesperson Anna Cowenhoven.

Before Faculty administrators took action, the new and resurfaced allegations prompted Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 to send an email to Harvard affiliates Friday afternoon reaffirming the University’s commitment to “a safe, healthy and non-discriminatory educational and work environment.” Garber also called for affiliates who have experienced sexual harassment to come forward and speak to Title IX officers.

In the days before Dominguez’s retirement, many undergraduates and graduate students called for his removal.

Dominguez started teaching at Harvard in 1972 after earning his Ph.D. the same year and received tenure in 1979. The first case of sexual misconduct perpetrated by Dominguez reported by the Chronicle occurred that same year, when a former undergraduate alleges the professor repeatedly touched her and tried to kiss her.

In the early 1980s, Dominguez made repeated sexual advances towards former assistant professor Terry L. Karl and another graduate student in the department. Both women reported the incidents to administrators, prompting then-Dean of the Faculty Henry Rosovsky to sanction Dominguez in 1984 by removing him from the administrative positions he then held.

Just one year after the 1984 punishment, though, Dominguez was appointed to chair both the FAS Foreign Cultures subcommittee of the Core Curriculum and the Special Appointments Committee in the Government department.


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