If a heterosexual man had made the exact same statement, no lewd implication would ever have been inferred.
The University of California Board of Regents dismissed a gay professor from the Riverside campus named Rob Latham.
One of his students issued a formal complaint alleging him of sexually harassing that student with the comment “ride you hard,” as well as distributing drugs to other students.
The Hearing Committee dismissed the original charges of “flagrant, serial sexual harassment,” and instead charged him for his recurring “psychological illness.”
Rob Latham’s thoughts on his dismissal
It does not matter what your sexual orientation is, Mr. Latham.
Making someone uncomfortable by doing or saying something sexual is never right.
Prof. Latham may not have been dismissed fairly.
According to Prof. Latham, he did not have a fair say in UCR’s decision to dismiss him.
Sexual assaults/harassment in academia
I don’t really think that sexual assaults and harassment are taken seriously at all colleges, especially at the UC schools. I’ve heard so many stories about UC professors at Berkeley, UCLA, etc. who continue to teach despite being accused of sexually harassing their students.
There’s also not much colleges can do about sexual assaults and harassment except issue restraining orders when victims don’t have any damning evidence to prove their accounts and when there aren’t a lot of victims who’re willing to share their accounts.
I honestly didn’t expect Prof. Latham to get dismissed like that. I don’t know if he was guilty or innocent, but knowing what happened to him makes me wonder if a lot of people are dismissed from their jobs because of false accusations of sexual harassment.
The Board of Regents should’ve taken more time to investigate on the case and to let Prof. Latham speak for himself because the truth deserves to be known and made more apparent.
I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear that UC took such drastic steps. I knew Rob during my time as a graduate student at the University of Iowa. His class in my first semester challenged me each week to expand and test the limits of my thinking while at the same time helped to build my confidence in my own scholarly voice. That combination of traits is the gold standard of teaching, and of the dozens of teachers I have known, very few come close to being as successful as Rob is at this. I grieved when he left Iowa while at the same time I was thrilled for him and the opportunities he had at UCR. I only hope that some day that UCR recognizes what they have lost.
Moreover, despite how we don’t know if the professor was guilty or innocent, people should seriously stop defending (possible) sexual assaulters. No matter how good they may seem, sexual assaulters don’t deserve to make workplaces uncomfortable for others.