For the second time this year, a professor at the University of Iowa has taken his own life after being accused of sexual harassment. . . .
On Wednesday, just a week after he was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit, Mark Weiger killed himself. He was a professor of music known for his oboe performances and teaching. A former student and teaching assistant’s lawsuit, filed in federal court against Weiger and the university, charged that he had a romantic relationship with another student, engaged in repeated classroom banter and touching of an inappropriate nature, and created a sexually hostile environment. According to the suit, the university conducted its own investigation of the situation last year, found Weiger had violated policies against sexual harassment, and then resolved the issue “informally.” He was found in his car, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning, with the garage door at his home closed. Authorities said he left a note.
In August, [66-year-old political science professor] Arthur H. Miller was arrested on bribery charges and accused of telling female students that he would give them higher grades if they let him fondle their breasts. In one case, he is alleged to have grabbed and sucked on a student’s breast and then sent her an e-mail telling her that she had earned an A+. He then shot himself in a local park.
Note that “classroom banter” now qualifies as grounds for a federal civil-rights lawsuit, whereas soliciting oral sex from interns in the Oval Office — hey, what kind of right-wing prude would object to that?
(Cross-posted at The Other McCain.)
Robert Stacy McCain