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External Review Exposes Title IX Failures

An External Review Found a 'Permissive Culture Regarding Sexual Harassment' at Harvard

The Center for Government and International Studies lobby was covered with printed copies of the original Chronicle of Higher Education article about Professor Emeritus Jorge I. Dominguez. The posters accompanied a protest calling for an independent review of the allegations against him.
The Center for Government and International Studies lobby was covered with printed copies of the original Chronicle of Higher Education article about Professor Emeritus Jorge I. Dominguez. The posters accompanied a protest calling for an independent review of the allegations against him.
By Mayesha R. Soshi, Crimson Staff Writer

An external committee examining sexual harassment at Harvard found that a “permissive culture regarding sexual harassment” allowed former Government professor Jorge I. Domínguez to continue rising through leadership as he sexually harassed at least 18 women over the course of four decades.

The external committee — commissioned in 2019 to examine the circumstances that enabled decades of harassment by Domínguez — wrote in its final report, released in February, that “pronounced power disparities,” “inadequate reporting mechanisms,” and faculty gender imbalances in the Government Department enabled misconduct.

The review found that Harvard's decentralized structure inhibited knowledge of past misconduct disclosures and reccomended that the University create a “centralized, comprehensive, searchable personnel record." The report also reccomended that Harvard develop a system to monitor individuals accused of misconduct.

In response to the review, four women who were victims to Domínguez's misconduct penned a letter to University President Lawrence S. Bacow calling for changes in how the school investigates sexual misconduct. They wrote that they are “unable in good conscience” to encourage women to use Harvard's current Title IX procedures.

—Mayesha R. Soshi, Crimson Staff Writer

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