*See “rejected posts”.
My field (philosophy) is not known for the kinds of data frauds and retractions we’ve discussed on this blog, but scandals revolving around sexual harassment by male faculty are not rare, though I can’t think of another with a senior faculty resigning, at least not in recent times. This article is from
As I guess we [in philosophy] all know, Colin McGinn has chosen to resign from the University of Miami rather than allow the University to proceed with an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving a research assistant. The article at the Chronicle of Higher Ed is here (paywalled); Sally Haslanger has posted a PDF of the whole thing here. Discussion at NewApps here, here, here, and here; discussion at Feminist Philosophers here; discussion at Leiter here and here.
Briefly, what seems to have happened is this: McGinn had a Research Assistant who was a female graduate student. Last spring, the RA started feeling uncomfortable with McGinn. Then, last April, McGinn allegedly started sending her sexually explicit email messages, including one in which, according to the RA’s boyfriend and two unnamed faculty members, “McGinn wrote that he had been thinking about the student while masturbating.”* Wowza.
The RA then contacted the Office of Equality Administration. According to CHE, “after the university’s Office of Equality Administration and the vice provost for faculty affairs conducted an investigation, Mr. McGinn was given the option of agreeing to resign or having an investigation into the allegations against him continue in a public setting, several of the philosopher’s colleagues said.”
It’s hard to know exactly what to make of this. On one obvious interpretation, there’s a clearly implied threat: if you don’t resign, we’re going to publicly drag your name through the mud. And I’m not sure how normal the prospect of a “public” investigation is in this kind of circumstance. For example, if I recall correctly, the Oregon case from a couple of years ago involved an investigation that was supposed to have been kept private, and was made public only in violation of the University’s procedures. But procedures vary from institution to institution, and I don’t have any expertise here. I don’t really have any idea whether this is unusual or not, although my suspicion is that it is at least a little unusual.
It therefore seems reasonable to worry about whether the procedures Miami followed here were respectful of McGinn’s right to due process. But it’s worth emphasizing that the CHE article is not very clear about precisely what happened—for example, Leiter says that McGinn had legal representation and was acting on his lawyer’s advice, but the CHE doesn’t mention it. It is also worth emphasizing that the account in the CHE comes from unnamed “colleagues,” not McGinn or his representatives or any official source at the University. And this comment at Feminist Philosophers, the veracity of which I am not in a position to verify, makes the meeting seem at least a little less troubling. On that account, it was more like, we’ve got some pretty compelling, well-documented evidence of misconduct, which we are duty-bound to pursue; but we’d like to give you the opportunity to resign now and save us both a big headache.
Harrassment occurs between professors, and not just between professors and students, but without the obvious professor-student taboo, it is not taken especially seriously, in my experience. Naturally philosophers, being philosophers, some of them, will engage in deep philosophical discussion of the philosophical nature and justification of the infractions and even how it might have grown out of a legitimate philosophical research on the topic of the evolutionary development of the hand, in relation to its physical functions. Read more
Apple (AAPL) stock is a perfect example of how psychology, fear and superstition enter into stock prices as much as do measures of valuation. Any predictions for this afternoon’s earnings? In general, here’s a field where regardless of what happens, “experts” never have to say they were wrong–especially about Tech. So, certainly we don’t. Thus, a wild guess–AAPL (currently down 300 points over its high) goes up with earnings, but not massively (~5-10pts). Still, there’s such a fear of its being “RIMMED” (i.e., dramatically losing its status as top tech, as did Research in Motion), that it may be beaten down some more.
(To be placed in rejected posts blog)
After a 6-week hiatus from flying, I’m back in the role of female opt-out[i] in a brand new Delta[ii] terminal with free internet and ipads[iii]. I heard last week that the TSA plans to allow small knives in carry-ons, for the first time since 9/11, as “part of an overall risk-based security approach”. But now it appears that flight attendants, pilot unions, a number of elected officials, and even federal air marshals are speaking out against the move, writing letters and petitions of opposition.
“The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing nearly 90,000 flight attendants, and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations, which represents 22,000 airline pilots, also oppose the rule change.”
Former flight attendant Tiffany Hawk is “stupefied” by the move, “especially since the process that turns checkpoints into maddening logjams — removing shoes, liquids and computers — remains unchanged,” she wrote in an opinion column for CNN. Link is here. Read more
See Rejected Posts.
This is my first aeroblog–has a name been coined by anyone yet for mile-high blogging?
“Are you butter off now? Deconstructing the butter bust of the President” http://rejectedpostsofdmayo.com/