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Northwestern Says Professor Accused of Harassment Is Still on Leave

July 11, 2018
 
 

Northwestern University on Tuesday addressed a series of harassment allegations against Alec Klein, a professor of journalism who has been on leave since February. Northwestern “takes seriously all complaints that are brought to its attention and investigated those allegations promptly and thoroughly, following established university procedures,” Alan K. Cubbage, campus spokesperson, said in a statement. “Complaints to Northwestern’s Office of Equity are confidential in nature in order to protect the individuals involved” and Northwestern “cannot confirm the details that have been made public regarding the investigation” into Klein’s behavior.

In any case, Northwestern “apologizes to our current and former students and former employees for the experiences that they went through,” Cubbage said. “Their decisions to come forward with their complaints undoubtedly were not easy ones, and we commend them for having the courage to do so. Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are safe, secure and free from sexual misconduct of any form.”

Klein remains on leave from all his positions and is not on campus, Cubbage said.

Earlier this year, group of 10 former students and employees of the Justice Project at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism published an open letter accusing Klein of sexual harassment, abusive behavior and bullying. A month later, the group published another open letter saying 19 additional women had come forward to complain about Klein’s alleged sexually suggestive comments, unwanted touching and verbal abuse. Klein has denied the claims, saying in a statement that many came from a “disgruntled former employee.” Northwestern has said that some allegations dating back several years were previously found by the university to be unsubstantiated, but that new allegations would be investigated.

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