Former Case Western Dean Reportedly Leaves Shanghai University After Controversial Appointment
Added 07-18-19 10:55:02am EST - “We previously discussed various cases where academics informed in allegations of sexual misconduct have moved abroad to teach at foreign schools. That has triggered a "MeToo" protests a?” - Jonathanturley.org
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We previously discussed various cases where academics informed in allegations of sexual misconduct have moved abroad to teach at foreign schools. That has triggered a “MeToo” protests at these schools. One of those cases involved a former GW colleague, Ezra Wasserman Mitchell, who changed his name from Larry Mitchell before leaving for China to join the faculty of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Students reportedly called for an investigation. Now one of those activists in China who opposed Mitchell’s appointment is claiming that Mitchell was fired after the investigation, but the posted comments only indicate that Mitchell’s contract was not renewed. The website however still shows Mitchell as a faculty member. While I have not been able to confirm Mitchell’s departure, it does appear that the controversy is still raging in China since our previous discussion. However, we are no closer in resolving how such cases should be handled.
In the earlier protests, I discussed concerns over cases like Mitchell’s where there was now final adjudication of guilt. Women at the School of Law at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SHUFE) started their own campaign against “Professor Mi Luo” That is the Chinese name for Professor Mitchell, who was the dean of Case Western Reserve University Law School before he was accused of sexual harassment. The resulting scandal led to settlements with all parties by the university and Mitchell resigned his short-lived deanship and left for New York. He eventually changed his name to Ezra Wasserman Mitchell. Given the settlements, there was no ruling against Mitchell by the university or the federal court. Mitchell always maintained his innocence.
The amended complaint of Law Professor Raymond Ku alleges that Mitchell engaged in sexual harassment and retaliation as Dean, including suggestions of three-some trysts with students and administrators. The complaint further claims relations with students during Mitchell’s tenure at George Washington Law School and notes that he married a student while a law professor. Ku’s allegations have been reportedly affirmed by a former administrator who came with Mitchell to Case Western from GWU, Daniel Dubé. There are also unnamed faculty and students referenced in the complaint. [For Dubé’s affidavit, click here]
The complaint states that a professor reported an allegation from a student that Mitchell had proposed a “threesome” and sexual flirting and harassment by the dean. Media has reported that Daniel Dubé had come forward to say that he is Administrative Staff Member 3 referenced in the complaint. The complaint states that Administrative Member 3 reported Mitchell’s alleged sexual relationship with a law student and that he was then subject to retaliation from Mitchell. Mitchell denied all of these allegations and vowed to litigate the matter before a settlement was reached.
I raised the Mitchell controversy earlier with other cases that raise the question over the fairness of new legislation seeking to bar employment of accused academics if allegations were not ultimately adjudicated. Mitchell was never found guilty of the allegations. While some alleged how he changed his name as part of a subterfuge, Mitchell insisted that he changed his name to sound more Jewish, including the adoption of Wasserman (which is not a family name).
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