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Yale Prof Gets Endowed Chair Four Years After Harassment Finding

Fellow faculty members aren’t happy about it.

Aug 30, 2018
Kerry Grens

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Michael Simons, a Yale School of Medicine professor who was removed from a leadership post in 2014 after the university found him guilty of sexual harassment, was given an endowed professorship in the school’s cardiology department in July. In response, faculty members “went into an uproar,” and the school removed an online press release about Simons’s honor, Yale Daily News reported on Tuesday (August 28).

“The awarding of a new endowed chair to Dr. Simons communicates a message of tolerance: Faculty who were found guilty of sexual misconduct are still worthy of receiving this prestigious honor,” Paula Kavathas, a medical professor and former chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum at Yale, tells the college newspaper.

See “AAAS Insiders Petition to Revoke Honors of Sexual Harassers”

According to The New York Times, in 2014, a university investigation concluded that Simons had sexually harassed a postdoc at the medical school and then treated her husband, a Yale cardiologist, unfairly. Simons left his position as director of the Cardiovascular Research Center and was suspended as chief of cardiology for 18 months.

Since 2008, Simons had held a different named professorship. But the daughter of the man for whom the chair was named complained, and now another faculty member holds that seat. 

An anonymous board member of the Committee on the Status of Women in Medicine at Yale tells the student newspaper that the group “would like to see this new chair taken away.”

In an email to the New Haven Register in 2014, Simons admitted to pursuing a junior colleague, but denied other allegations.

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