Boston University fires geologist found to have harassed women in Antarctica

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Country Boston University fires geologist found to have harassed women in Antarctica By Meredith WadmanApr. 12, 2019 , 4:55 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Boston University (BU) today fired David Marchant, the geologist whose alleged harassment of women at remote Antarctic field camps Science first described 18 months ago.A faculty hearing committee that handled Marchant’s appeal of BU’s November 2017 decision to terminate him had instead recommended that he be suspended for 3 years without pay and prohibited from leading university Antarctic expeditions, according to a letter sent today by BU Provost Jean Morrison to faculty in the Department of Earth & Environment. (Marchant had chaired that department.) However, BU’s president, Robert Brown, overruled the Hearing Committee, deciding that termination was appropriate. In a final, required step under the university’s faculty handbook procedures, BU’s Board of Trustees today accepted Brown’s recommendation. “The decision of the Board of Trustees is final,” Morrison wrote. Marchant, in a statement issued through his lawyer, Jeffrey Sankey of Braintree, Massachusetts, vowed to fight his termination in court. In the statement, Marchant maintains that he has “never” engaged in any form of sexual harassment, “not in 1998 or 1999 in Antarctica or at any time since.”He calls the investigation conducted by BU’s Title IX office “a travesty, operated by an administration who has capitulated at every turn to the fear of adverse publicity at the expense of providing due process to an esteemed professor who has worked for nearly 20 years since these false allegations supposedly occurred without a single complaint.”Sean Mackay, a visiting researcher at BU, completed his Ph.D. and did postdoctoral work with Marchant. He says the accusations “are inconsistent with” the actions of a man he has known and worked with for 11 years. And he says Brown’s “unilateral” decision to override the faculty hearing committee showed “a lack of respect for the committee’s hard work, courage, and due process in making a decision that was based on the facts presented, rather than the pressure of public opinion.”But others welcomed the move. It “sends a clear message that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. It also affirms the experiences of survivors,” says Erika Marin-Spiotta, a biogeochemist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who is lead principal investigator of ADVANCEGeo, a National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded project to improve workplace climate in the geosciences. “Tenure should protect intellectual freedom but not abusers and harassers.”Hillary Tulley, a Skokie, Illinois, high school tutor who reported that Marchant taunted her and made degrading, profane comments about her body when she was at a field site in Antarctica with him in the late 1990s, began to cry when told the news. “It’s just an overwhelming sense of relief,” she said. “Boston University delivered justice today.”The Marchant case focused national attention on sexual harassment in the sciences, especially during fieldwork, even landing on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. It sparked an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives, prompted the renaming of a glacier once named after Marchant, and helped drive new reporting requirements recently imposed by NSF, which had supported Marchant’s expeditions.*Update, 12 April, 6:15 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from Erika Marin-Spiotta and Hilary Tulley.*Update, 12 April, 8:50 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from Sean Mackay. “I often say no one ‘wins’ a sexual harassment case, but I’m wrong: Science, academia, and BU are better today because of this announcement,” says Jane Willenbring, the associate professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California, San Diego, whose 2016 complaint to BU’s Title IX office about Marchant’s behavior toward her in Antarctica at the turn of the century launched the investigation of Marchant. She added: “I’m grateful to the many women and men who told the truth about his behavior.” After a lengthy process, Boston University fired geologist David Marchant in the wake of a prominent sexual harassment case. Related content Henry Zbyszynski/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more