Saturday, December 15, 2018

Allegation of Hostile Work Environment at a Professional Academic Association - Part 2

Harvard is in the news, not just with regard to the admissions litigation, but with a Title 9 matter that has spread beyond the campus. Blog readers will recall that back in October, the American Economic Assn. (AEA) made the following statement on its website:*

A post from the Executive Committee  10-15-18

It has come to our attention that one of the recently elected candidates for office of the American Economic Association is the subject of allegations, being accused of creating a hostile work environment. Neither the Nominating Committee, nor the Executive Committee knew of such allegations at the time of nomination. We also believe that few of the members knew of the allegations at the time of the election. 

We take such allegations seriously, but they are, at this point, just allegations. While the home institution will neither deny nor confirm the existence of an investigation, we understand that one is underway, and may come to some conclusions in the not too distant future. We have decided that, before proceeding further, we should wait for those conclusions, if they are made public and they come within a reasonable amount of time. If not, we shall reexamine our position.

One conclusion we already draw is that, in the future, we shall ask potential nominees if they are the subject of an investigation. This will help avoid such situations going forward.

The Executive Committee, American Economic Association

At the time, as we reported, the individual involved, although not named in the notice above, was in fact known to be a prominent Harvard economist. The Harvard Crimson had reported on this matter, although not in connection with the AEA, much earlier (in May).** As of this morning, the individual is still listed on the AEA website as an incoming elected member of the AEA Executive Committee, a prestigious post.*** However, the AEA has its annual meeting in Atlanta in less than a month, and presumably some resolution will need to be found between now and then. The matter has been pushed to the fore by a NY Times article that appeared yesterday:****

On verra.
**** The Harvard Crimson reported that the university investigation had concluded in late November: It reported on a second investigation a few days ago:

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