through the motions, anyway. And matters are usually handledrn”by the book,” even though the accused usually findsrnhimself completely alone and without reliable advice.rnVery few universities provide counsel or legal representationrnto an accused faculty member. It is more efficient to proceedrnfrom the point where the prima facie evidence is offered. It isrna reductive process: the faculty member is male and claims hernis innocent; the accuser is female and claims he is guilty; therefore,rnhe is guilty. His options, if his university is beneficent, arernequally simple; he can fight it through a lengthy and confusedrnuniversity process, where the “fix” is usually in, or he can resignrnand hope to find another position elsewhere.rnA “fair hearing,” relying on “due process” as it is normallyrnunderstood, usually does not happen any more often than thernaccused is found totally innocent. The institution acts asrninvestigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury. The only role missingrnin what would ordinarilv be seen as a judicial process is that ofrndefense attorney. There, the “defendant” is on his own, facedrnwith the enormously unjust proposition of proving himselfrninnocent in the face of presumed guilt.rnIn an effort to build a strong case, most university officialsrnwill interview virtually any woman who has had contact withrnthe professor and inform her that it is not only her right butrnalso her obligation to report any improper behavior on the partrnof a superior—any superior. Sometimes pressure is applied; inrnat least some cases, threats of recrimination have been impliedrnunless “the truth” is forthcoming. In at least one case, a femalerngraduate student was told that her “continued progressrntoward a degree” might well depend on her “veracity.” (Ironically,rnshe was cohabitating with the accused professor at therntime, although university officials were unaware of this.)rnWhen scrupulous inquisitors undertake their inquiries, theyrndo not divulge the name of the accused, but only a completernidiot believes that the women being summoned for interviewrnare in the dark about what is going on or who is on the hot seat.rnIn one case, a departmental worker was on the phone solicitingrnwitnesses against an accused professor even before he wasrnaware that anyone had filed a complaint or before the investigationrnwas officially underway. Her “enthusiasm” for gatheringrndamning evidence soon reached the accused, which wasrnthe first he knew he was being investigated at all. Secrecv andrnconfidentiality are rare commodities on any university campus,rnparticularly when a sensational cause such as sexual harassmentrnis involved.rnSuch investigations almost always turn up sufficient cause tornproceed with a full inquiry. It is impossible for any facultyrnmember to teach several thousand students over a period ofrnyears and not to offend somebody. It is particularly likely thatrncomplaints will be forthcoming when the accused is unpopular,rnpolitically controversial, or professionally threatening to hisrncolleagues. It is not unheard of for a complainant to bernamorously involved with a departmental rival of the accused,rnand it is not unusual for that rival to apply pressure on otherrnwomen to come forward and file new and totally unexpectedrncomplaints along the way. They need not fear lying—perjur’rnis not a crime within the university committee hearing—rnand they can change their stories at will if the accused provesrnelusive or too cunning in his responses.rnGenerally, the accused is not informed of who is being solicitedrnfor testimony or what might have been said. On therncontrary, he is often warned to stay away from any woman herneven suspects might speak against him. In some cases, he mayrnbe covertlv given tidbits of what is being said against him, allrndesigned to frighten him into a preemptive resignation. In onerncase, a faculty member was told secretlv that if he did notrnresign forthwith, the university administration would “closernranks” against him and feed him to the press. “They’ll paintrnyou black,” he was told. “Quit and save your family the embarrassment.”rnOne might assume that if a faculty member is completelyrninnocent, he should be able to prove that easily enough and torngo back to his position, his name cleared, his reputation intact.rnBut proof of innocence, antithetical as it is to the entire systemrnof jurisprudence, is even harder in cases where the charges arernbased on inference and subjective perception. As another attorneyrnput it, “It’s not like murder, where vou have to have arnwitness or a corpse or at least a weapon. It’s not like robbery,rnwhere you have something that was stolen. The accusedrndoesn’t just have to prove he didn’t do it, but he has to provernthat he never thought about doing it, that he never looked atrnthe accusing individual and thought, ‘Hey, she’s pretty.’ Godrnhelp him if he ever said that to anyone, even to his closestrnfriend.”rnIn reality, no matter how ridiculous and unfounded complaintsrnmay eventually be proved to be or how completely anrnindividual may be cleared of any charges or wrongdoing, thernfacultv member is tainted. His classes will not make, his committeernassignments will be restricted, his ability to function asrna counselor or colleague has been impaired, and he will have tornwork under a cloud of suspicion that he somehow “beat thernrap.”rnAs some university officials have admitted (off the record,rnof course), in such matters as sexual harassment, establishedrnprocesses are totally inadequate. Like the Spanish Inquisition,rnthey are designed to ferret out guilt and mete outrnpunishment, not to seek truth. Once a departmental committeernmeets to hear a complaint, the word has probably alreadyrncome down from the higher administration, and the verdict isrnpro forma. In a sense, whatever opportunities offered to thernaccused faculty member for defense are predicated on the fallac}’rnof the complex question. There is no doubt that he mustrnhave done this—for he stands accused by a student. Thernstudent’s record does not matter, nor do possible personalrnmotives. The only meaningful question for the committee isrnwhat to do about “the problem in the department.”rnNo appellate committee at the college, university, or systemrnlevel is likely to overturn a departmental committee’s ruling.rnAfter all, if the department head and attendant committeesrnwant the guy gone, if the higher administration wants himrngone as well, why should they interfere? If they buck the systemrntoo hard, they might be targeted themselves. The onlyrntrue recourse an innocent party has is to endure the drumheadrnjustice of the university and to take them to a real court. Butrnthis is more difficult than it seems, and it is marvelous!)’ expensive,rnusually well beyond the reach of a typical faculty salary.rnThe complexities are numerous. It can take anywhere fromrnseveral months to a year or more before the university proceduresrnare exhausted and the faculty member is terminated orrnforced to resign. His suit, then, cannot be filed on the basis ofrnwhether or not he was guilty of sexual harassment; rather, hernmust attack on the basis that he was wrongfully dismissed.rnThis can take another year or more to get to court, and even ifrnhe wins, appeals and filed motions can delay a final decisionrn20/CHRONiCLESrnrnrn