Saturday, April 17, 2021

Bizarre and frightening story about a university professor harassing over a dozen professors across the country with false claims of plagiarism

The alleged harasser isn't identified in the story, but apparently made herself known. The schools, service providers, and legal authorities seemed unequipped or unwilling to take decisive action as baseless accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct piled up:

[The department chair] felt a “fierce protectiveness” over her faculty member. But she also couldn’t fail to report serious allegations, which would immediately raise alarm bells for campus officials. Even the strangest-sounding claims had to be funneled through the proper channels. 
Plagiarism allegations went to the research-integrity office. Sexual-misconduct claims went to the Title IX office. Investigations were opened. The university bureaucracy started to churn. 
After [the department chair] alerted UCLA investigators to the allegations, she wrote a department-wide email. She couldn’t say much. Personnel records were confidential, and given that Title IX complaints frequently lead to lawsuits, university lawyers advised [her] to be cautious.