Harvard University political science professor Jorge I. Domínguez left his post at the prestigious institution after 18 different women came forward to claim they had been sexually harassed by him.
In a detailed report published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, several colleagues of Domínguez came forward to tell stories of unwanted advances and other inappropriate behavior they were subject to. The alleged incidents date all the way back to the '80s. Terry Karl, who was a junior professor during her time at Harvard, says he would often touch her inappropriately. After filing a complaint against Domínguez, who was slated to be the next department chair, Harvard determined he was responsible for misconduct. As a result, he “was removed from administrative responsibilities for three years and told that any future misconduct could trigger his dismissal.”
After Karl left the university and landed at Stanford, several other women including faculty and students filed sexual harassment complaints against Dominguez to the university—many of them dismissed or held up indefinitely. Others who spoke to the Chronicle said they remained silent out of fear of retaliation or left the university entirely. Karl says she did everything in her power to sound the alarm while she was at Harvard. “The silence was not mine,” she said. “It was Harvard’s.”
Shortly after the Chronicle report was published last week, Harvard put Domínguez on administrative leave pending a review. In a brief but decisive email to colleagues, Domínguez announced that he would be leaving Harvard for good. “I am retiring from my job at Harvard at the end of this semester," he wrote, adding, “it has been a privilege to serve the university.” Domínguez has refused to comment directly on Karl's claims, according to the Chronicle.