The University of Pennsylvania is considering the expulsion of a tenured professor accused of drug trafficking, sexual harrassment and discrimination. This dismissal would mark the first time a U Penn professor has lost a tenured position in the school's 241-year history.
Lawrence Mayer, a professor of statistics at Wharton, U Penn's business school, in Philadelphia, was removed from the directorship of the Wharton Analysis Center in late Mach following the first phase of an investigation prompted by many accusations of corrupt practices at the center.
After this initial disciplinary action, Wharton School's Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, which had called for the ad hoc inquiry, decided to continue further investigation.
But David Berger, Mayer's attorney, released a statement to The Daily Pennsylvania last week which questioned the integrity of the investigation. The release also stated "When the facts are proved. Professor Mayer will be vindicated." Mayer was unavailable for comment.
If the committee finds sufficient ground for expulsion, Mayer's case will go to Penn's Trustee Executive Board, which is responsible for a final decision on expulsions.
Dan M. McGill, chairman of Wharton department of insurance, and Provos Thomas Ehrlich, who are heading the inquiry, both declined comment this week of the status of the committee's proceedings.
The Philadelphia district attorney's office is making an independent investigation into the dealings of the center but has not filed are charges to date.