by David F. Pendrys
The bottom line is that the punishment at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) when a faculty member creates a hostile environment for a student can be as minimal as a 5 day suspension, instead of termination, or an actual long suspension. Does this seem like enough? It doesn’t to me. Furthermore the idea that “severe” punishment at SCSU is 10-20 days suspension doesn’t make much sense either. What is severe about that?
For those who want to read an in-depth outline of the Wyler vs. SCSU, David Chevan (and others case) feel free to visit my longer post which also has a variety of case documents. But after realizing how long that was I decided to sum the case up in three bullet points.
*SCSU’s own investigation found that “there is sufficient information to show that Dr. Chevan’s conduct had the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or academic performance or creating and intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment for Ms. Wyler. His conduct was persistent and pervasive and was reasonably perceived as offensive or hostile to constitute the type of sexual harassment referred to. as “hostile environment.” (SCSU’s Report)
*The result was that while SCSU administration discussed punishments ranging from termination to suspension, a “severe” suspension of 10 to 20 days was considered, eventually this was reduced to 10 days, and after talking to the faculty union, was reduced to 5 days. (Excerpt of a deposition by a SCSU administrator responsible.)