In February 2012, Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault attended an open forum with ASU president Michael Crow, where we asked about Barrett, Honors College professors sexually harassing and assaulting students. While he says that professors who engage in sexual misconduct are punished, the history at Barrett Honors college proves otherwise.
SDASA: Hi, Dr. Crow. My name is [redacted] and I’m in Barrett, Honors College, and I’m studying [redacted]. My question to you is a response to your email about the Penn State scandal. What initiatives are you taking in regards to cases where professors sexually harass their students, where victims are afraid to come forward, or previous victims have faced retaliation, and where lots of complaints have been filed in various departments, including the Office of Equity, and it seems like nothing is being done.
Michael Crow: Okay, so let me give you the general comment relative to your statement, and then I’ll talk a little bit about the specifics. We do have a code of conduct for the behavior of our faulty relative to their interaction with students, and the appropriateness or lack thereof of their behaviors. We have dismissed faculty, even recently, for their inappropriate behavior with students.
All faculty are subject to administrative review, all faculty are subject to administrative discipline, all faculty are responsible for their behaviors. So if there is inappropriate behavior, or sexual harassment going on between a faculty member and student — or for that matter between students, but I’m talking here about faculty and staff — then the cases could be brought to the Office of Student Affairs, it could be brought to the chair of the department, it could be brought to the Dean of Students within the student affairs operation. It could brought anywhere within the institution. It could be brought to a residence hall advisor, anyone. It should then be looked upon as they are, as cases that have to be looked into and investigated, and we do this rapidly, so if something snagged up somewhere in the administration, you send a note to me. And I’ll get the people working on it, because whoever is out there or whoever you might know or whoever might have suffered under this kind of inappropriate behavior, we need to know about that so that can be looked into and if those behaviors occurred, so it can be dealt with.
And so there’s no lack of desire on our part to hold people accountable for their behavior, and our faulty and our staff understand that level of behavior that we expect. So, if you have felt, or others that you know have felt unresponded to and you’ve got something somewhere and no one’s said anything, then you write me at Michael.Crow@asu.edu and I can guarantee you that it will be looked at and looked into immediately, because no one — no one — should have to deal with those kinds of behaviors, it’s disgusting, actually.
SDASA: Thank you for answering my question. It seems like there are a lot of snags in the system. I’ll be shooting you an email, then. Thank you.
Michael Crow: Okay. Yeah, just email me directly, and if I could talk to someone or if someone else would like to talk to someone, let us know that also, so we can set that up. Anywhere where there is a professor or a coach or something that’s in a power relationship with a student, the student might be reluctant out of fear to say something, and I’m just a big believer that the person should say something and then the problem can be dealt with, and I can tell that when those things have gotten to us, we have dealt with these issues. There’s not a lot of them, but those that have occurred we have dealt with them. And what I can tell you is that those people don’t work here anymore … or worse.