Monday, August 15, 2011
The right-wing blogs have been working this story overtime, since it fits into their favorite self-pity narrative, but now Widener University's faculty committee has issued its impressively thorough report on the whole affair, concluding that Professor Connell (1) did not engage in racial harassment, (2) did not engage in sexual harassment, and (3) did engage in retaliatory actions against the complainants (see pp. 41 ff. for the discussion). All the findings seem quite well-supported. The sanctions (including suspension without pay for a year and psychiatric evaluation), however, seem disproportionate to the wrongful conduct findings in the report. From the outside, it is very hard to know what to make of all this, unless, like the right-wing blogs, one has a predetermined narrative in which to slot this. I suspect there is more going on here than is either in the report or available in the public record at this point.