Harvard has taken disciplinary action against a tenured Government professor for sexually harassing a junior faculty member in the department, Government professors confirmed this week.
Jorge I. Dominguez, Harvard's senior authority on Latin American political science, was officially punished this summer by Dean of the Faculty Henry Rosovsky, after the dean found merit in a grievance the assistant professor lodged.
Dominguez has been in Mexico City this week attending a conference, according to a note on his office door. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Professors and graduate students who discussed the incident declined to identify the assistant professor who filed the grievance. They said she was out of the country this week.
Rosovsky's apparent punitive action follows a Government graduate student's grievance that she was also sexually harassed by Dominguez. The student filed her complaint after the assistant professor's.
The incidents mark only the third time that disciplinary action against a Harvard professor for sexual harassment has come to light. The other two cases involved isolated incidents between a professor and student.
The assistant professor's grievance reportedly described episodes of both verbal harassment and physical contact by Dominguez that persisted for at least a year.
Rosovsky, in a letter to the graduate student, wrote, "I regret very much the discomfort you have experienced in your relationship with Professor Dominguez. Your statement has been helpful in evaluating other allegations of his abuse of authority and deciding what action should be taken by me."
Rosovsky refused to discuss Dominguez's case yesterday. Professors said he spoke about the case at a special Government faculty meeting held Monday night to discuss sexual harassment, but the dean did not disclose what measures he took against Dominguez.
Dominguez was recently replaced as chairman of an interdisciplinary Latin American studies committee.
The new chairman, Juan Marichal, Smith Professor of the French and Spanish Languages and Literatures, said yesterday a Faculty administrator asked him to assume the post because of a "serious situation" concerning Dominguez.
Professors said Dominguez was stripped of his post as punishment by Rosovsky for the alleged sexual harassment. The Crimson was unable to obtain any official confirmation of this fact.
Some professors said they were unhappy Rosovsky did not tell the department members what actions he took against Dominguez and complained that the reported punishment was too light.
"There's some feeling that the fact that there was supposed to be no publicity and the fact that he is still here are an inadequate deterrent for the future and an inadequate punishment for this case," one professor said.
The professor added: "There are a lot of us who feel that in some ways, the University is more concerned with its reputation than with the proper adjudication of a very serious matter."