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Anthropology Prof. Urton Placed on Administrative Leave After Sexual Harassment Allegations

The Tozzer Anthropology Building and Peabody Museum house offices for Harvard's Anthropology department.
The Tozzer Anthropology Building and Peabody Museum house offices for Harvard's Anthropology department. By Ryan N. Gajarawala
By James S. Bikales, Crimson Staff Writer

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay has placed Anthropology professor Gary Urton on paid administrative leave following allegations of sexual misconduct against him, she wrote in an email to Anthropology students, faculty, and staff Wednesday morning.

The Crimson reported last week that a former student of Urton’s wrote in a sealed affidavit that he had pressured her into “unwelcome sex” in 2011.

Following the report, Jade d’Alpoim Guedes, a former Harvard Anthropology Ph.D. student, wrote in social media posts that Urton invited her to a hotel room while she was a graduate student.

In her email announcing the leave, Gay referenced both allegations. She also wrote that her office has heard from others who alleged Urton sexually harassed them.

“In addition to these public reports, my office has also received direct outreach from current and former members of our community recounting experiences of sexual harassment by Professor Urton,” Gay wrote.

“Due to the seriousness of these allegations, and in accordance with University and FAS policies, I write to announce that the FAS has placed Professor Urton on paid administrative leave, pending a full review of the facts and circumstances regarding the allegations that have come to light. This leave is effective immediately,” she added.

Urton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

—This is a developing story. Check for updates.

—Staff writer James S. Bikales can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jamepdx.

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