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Harvard Suspends Roland G. Fryer for Two Years, Closes EdLabs

Renowned economics professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. has been imposed with sanctions by Harvard University for violating the school’s sexual harassment policies, The New York Times reported.

In an email to the campus community on Wednesday, Claudine Gay, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, wrote that Fryer had been suspended for two years without pay and announced the permanent closure of EdLabs, which he founded in 2008.

According to The Harvard Crimson, Fryer will not be allowed to use the University’s resources to teach, supervise, or conduct research. After his suspension term, Fryer will lose various accesses, including teaching at graduate workshops and access to graduate student teaching fellows. The school’s Title IX office will also monitor his future undergraduate class lectures.

“Professor Fryer exhibited a pattern of behavior that failed to meet the expectations of conduct within our community and was harmful to the well-being of its members,” Gay wrote. “The totality of these behaviors is a clear violation of institutional norms and a betrayal of the trust” of the Harvard community.

Last year, a Harvard University investigator found Fryer guilty of sexually harassing women in the workplace, including bullying them and seeking retaliation. His involvement in “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” with four researchers working at the school was uncovered as well.

Currently, Fryer is being investigated by the state of Massachusetts and Harvard in two Title IX complaints with allegations of gender and sexual harassment.

In October, the American Economic Association’s decision to appoint Fryer as its executive committee member was widely condemned, prompting him to tender his resignation.

Months later in December, more than 100 graduate students and research assistants wrote an open letter raising concerns and accusing Fryer of practicing discrimination and harassment in the economics profession.

Students called upon Harvard and the American Economic Association to take certain steps to address their growing concerns, including creating, communicating, and enforcing department-level standards of conduct, and implementing a discipline-wide reporting system to document bad behavior, among others.

Fryer, meanwhile, has denied the allegations against him and has expressed his displeasure over the suspension.

“I am deeply disappointed, particularly because the important and outstanding work of my colleagues in our economics research lab has been forced to stop,” Fryer said in a statement to The New York Times. “Harvard has spoken. In due course, I will as well.”

Economics Students Pen Letter Over Harassment and Discrimination

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