Investigation reveals sexual harassment within CU Boulder philosophy department

CU Boulder sexual harassment within philosophy department

CU Boulder publicly released a report Jan. 31, 2014 identifying sexual harassment within the philosophy department.

BOULDER, Colo. — The University of Colorado Boulder publicly released information Friday regarding an investigation that revealed sexual harassment and bullying within the philosophy department.

In April 2013, the department invited the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women to conduct a full review of the environment for women within the department, according to the committee’s report.

The report cited 15 complaints made to the university’s Office of Discrimination and Harassment since 2007. It also stated that female members of the department were leaving or attempting to leave the program at “disproportionate numbers” after reporting that they felt uncomfortable and dejected.

“The committee found that the department has maintained an overall environment ‘with unacceptable sexual harassment, inappropriate sexualized unprofessional behavior and divisive uncivil behavior,'” said the report.

It also cited that this environment has been harmful to not only women, but “every stakeholder group” within the philosophy department.

The report led to the removal of the department’s chairman Graeme Forbes and suspended all graduate student admissions until at least fall of 2015, according to the Daily Camera.

CU officials named Andrew Cowell as Forbes replacement.

Since the investigation went public Friday, members of the department told the Daily Camera they were surprised by the school’s decision to openly release information they thought would stay confidential.

“We’re reaping the unhappy harvest of an effort to do the right thing,” said CU philosophy professor Michael Zimmerman. “We were acting in good faith to identify the concerns (within the department) and address the concerns…It wasn’t our intention to have a public spectacle.”