Professor Sues Columbia University for Sexual Harassment

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Columbia University
Columbia UniversityPhoto: Daniel Barry/Bloomberg News/Getty Images

Enrichetta Ravina, an assistant professor of finance at Columbia Business School, has filed a lawsuit against the university, saying that they ignored her complaints about her superior Geert Bekaert sexually harassing her.

According to the New York Times, the suit alleges that Bekaert helped Ravina access an important set of data for her research project about “the personal finance decisions of individual households.” When she rebuffed his sexual advances, he punished her by delaying her research project. He also allegedly spoke to her about pornography and his sexual exploits.

When Ravina complained to Columbia University, they dismissed her story. One dean likened her situation to a “soap opera.” Another suggested she simply stop working on her research project. Ravina is also suing Bekaert, who told the New York Times:

“I am sickened that a colleague — I was never Prof. Ravina’s supervisor or superior — would manufacture false stories, statements and events and attempt to destroy my reputation.”

Columbia declined to comment, although they said, “The university treats allegations of harassment with the utmost seriousness.”