Carroll: Prof’s rights disregarded by DU

By November 5, 2011

by Vincent Carroll

The Denver Post

 

Shouldn't a fellow who's been on the job for 50 years — and who's been touted occasionally by his university employer in public promotions — be allowed to tell his story before anonymous complaints drive him from the classroom?

Shouldn't he be questioned first even if the complaints allege, according to the dean of his school, that he'd created "a sexual harassment hostile environment" in his classroom?

In fact, shouldn't his version of events be especially relevant under the circumstances, given the damage such allegations could inflict on his reputation?

University of Denver professor Arthur Gilbert, 75, is still stunned by the ordeal of the past nine months, which concluded on Oct. 20 when Provost Gregg Kvistad upheld the dean's conclusion that Gilbert violated the school's sexual harassment policy. Gilbert insists DU abused his academic freedom when it yanked him from the classroom last April and barred him from campus and from contact with undergraduates (he's back this fall teaching a graduate class). At the very least, the university trampled on elementary principles of fairness in adhering to a rigid bureaucratic model for dealing with student complaints...

Schools: University of Denver