Tenured historian, fired over sexual harassment charges, allowed to resign insteadHistorians in the News
tags: sexual harassment, Central Washington University, Brian Carroll
When does an inappropriate relationship become sexual harassment? An internal Central Washington University investigation sheds light into how the university nearest to the Columbia Basin answers that question, and how it investigates possible sexual misconduct.
On Nov. 17, 2017, a month after an internal investigation found Central Washington University professor Brian Carroll had violated university conflict of interest policies by failing to disclose two sexual relationships he had with students, Carroll attempted to tender his resignation.
University officials initially did not accept the resignation. Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Todd Shiver, who would later tell union representation that Carroll’s actions were tantamount to sexual harassment, informed Carroll the same day that Carroll would instead be terminated. Shiver did not respond to a request for comment, and it’s unclear whether Carroll attempted to resign before or after learning of the dean’s decision.
What is clear is that five months later, after intervention from the faculty union and despite resistance from university officials, Carroll won out: he was able to resign, the university was forced to withdraw and expunge his termination from its records, and he received a letter of recommendation. University officials were directed to reference only this letter of recommendation if prospective employers inquired about Carroll, according to a resignation agreement between Carroll and the university.
Carroll worked in CWU’s Department of History from 2010 to 2017, earning tenure in 2016. He was involved with the university’s American Indian Studies program for five years and was the director of the AIS program from 2016 to late 2017. ...
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