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Spring 2012, I complained about sexism, sexual harassment, and ineptitude with the Dpt. Head about this particular instructor twice. I dropped his class after he creeped on me when no one else was around and waited two years for the opportunity to take the class with a different instructor.

Now, I am faced with a dilemma.

I only have 3 classes left in my degree plan – all required.

One of those 3 classes is only taught by him.

It took multiple other students complaining about his ineptitude in order to convince the Dpt. Head to allow another instructor to teach that first class that I dropped. For whatever reason, none of us are being given an option this semester. Spring 2014 I emailed the Dpt. Head asking if we would have a choice for the 2nd required class that he teaches, and my email was ignored.

Here’s where I need advice:

I know not to be alone with him again, but I would like to record (preferably video) every word that comes out of his mouth any time I have to be around him. (It’s a 4 hr. lecture/lab class where we’re basically on our own as far as teaching ourselves, but not allowed to leave except for short breaks).


We’re all forced to sign an acknowledgement form that we read the Syllabus which explicitly prohibits any and all recording devices without express permission from everyone in class. I’m in Texas, so only one of us needs to know I’m recording, but I’m signing an acknowledgement not just about him but about the other students also stuck in this idiot’s class.

I would like to email the Dpt. Head and copy the Dean informing them that since I have lodged two prior complaints against him for inappropriate behavior and ineptitude or flat out refusal to “instruct” for which he is paid (and by tax payers since I’m on Financial Aid), waited two years in order to take the other class from another instructor, and am now not given a choice of instructors, I will be forced to record every moment I’m around him because he can’t be trusted and they let me down. Permission or none, I’m going to do it. (I’ll word it differently.)

Here’s what he said to me when the two of us were alone in the lab, and it’s the last thing he ever said to me as I never returned to his class:
Him: Soooo is your husband or significant other going to whisk you off to a tropical paradise for Spring Break?

Me: Um, no. I don’t have one of those anymore.

Him: Oh come on! You’re an attractive girl; I’m sure you can find a man to pay your way and take care of you.

I wasn’t quite sure if he was coming on to me or trying to tell me to stop this silly nonsense of getting a degree in a “man’s” area of work, and get back to “women’s work” with my sexy bits.

[I’ve tried that twice and twice it’s been thrown in my face that I don’t work, and that the money is the man’s, so F THAT; but I didn’t tell him that.]

He also told a male student in another class to get, “this pretty young hot thing to tutor you, if you know what I mean” referring to the only female in that class and in front of the whole class.

She complained about him alongside me the second time I, face-to-face, complained to the Dpt. Head (who recorded both instances with a little spy pen but didn’t tell us about it - we're not stupid).

I feel like I’m stuck in a time warp.

I really need advice!

Note: No one that I know of, myself included has filed an official complaint in writing. I looked at the protocol for complaints, and step one is to confront the abuser which still ain’t gonna happen, and there was a time line that had expired, so I didn’t think I could file it “officially.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  Alternatives? (19+ / 0-)

    Does your campus have a student Ombuds officer? Is there another prof in the department who you trust? Is there someone in a gender studies program you could ask for advice? Is there another student in the class you could trust?  If this prof knows that you filed a complaint, then the prof might not give you a fair chance in class. I cannot give you legal advice, but if it were me, I would record, and write up anything unusual in your course notes (real time), and write up anything that happens after or outside of class. Ask another student whom you trust to also write up any such events in their class notes. Document, document, document. Save all class work, all emails, all online class information. It is absurd that the first person you must complain to is the offender. If the chair won't help, go to the dean. If the dean won't help, go up another level. It is wrong that all this has to fall on you.  

    Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

    by Ree Zen on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 04:41:19 PM PDT

  •  Disregard time lines (13+ / 0-)

    Make a complaint about the Deputy Head for not progressing your complaints or informing you of any outcome. You made an official complaint which should have been recorded, even if it was not in writing. Alternatively, make a complaint that the department head has not responded to your concerns.

    (I presume my assumptions about the earlier events are correct)

    If you do not get satisfaction, take it to the next level - school board or whatever. You may find help from an organization specializing in dealing with harrassment of this sort or a more general rights one like the ACLU. (BTW, the words "I am seeking legal advice" seems put a rocket up most bureaucracies)

    My immediate advice if the class is soon would be to circulate the rest of the class and him saying you will be recording, to keep in line with the school's requirement. Copy this to the Head. Make sure you stick to the facts, emphasize in a covering letter that his previous comments made you feel uncomfortable and harassed and that you wish to prevent any misunderstanding in the future.  If the teaching arrangements allow, make it clear to the teacher and department head that you believe it would be inappropriate for you and the teacher to be on your own together at any time (assuming this is possible).  

    You almost certainly have a recording device - if you have an iPhone or Android version you can get a suitable app if it is not already installed.

    Take a reasonable tone in order to avoid accusations that you are being hysterical and blowing "innocent remarks" up. If there is a sympathetic female tutor or mentor, even in another department, you might wish to confide in her to get support first.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:05:43 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, LDFP (9+ / 0-)

      The trusted instructor I initially told actually told the Dpt Head that this guy could get them sued.

      The class doesn't start until late Aug. But I had to register for the class, and now I'm worrying about it. I didn't sleep last night.

      Thanks for the advice!

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:16:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i sent a letter re the dept head of the university (0+ / 0-)

        where i was teaching resigning and spelling out the harrassment - i copied the head of the dean of fine arts, the provost, vice provost and ALL of the board of directors.

        he was demoted (couldn't be fired, tenured) but next semester, he was no longer in charge.

        i think it was all the cc's i sent... ;) btw, this was in 1969

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 02:38:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This suggestion isn't going to help (10+ / 0-)

    shut this guy down, but...........

    Could you come up with some prepared quips, since you now know how he frames things?

    Maybe some here could even help you ;-)   --

    It's not right and the of course the younger students are either going to know how to sass him right back, or crawl into a shell.  

    You have undoubtedly worked very hard to be on the home stretch of your degree.  Don't let this insecure clown derail you.  Wait until you are through to throw the book at him.  

    As for the head of the dept - she has heard of this before - that's why she sent the e-memo around.
    For example:

    Him: Soooo is your husband or significant other going to whisk you off to a tropical paradise for Spring Break?
    Me: Um, no. I don’t have one of those anymore.
    It's none of his damn business if you are living with a significant other or your plans for Spring Break.

    So you come back with "Yup, we are going to London to see the Queen.  The invitation arrived from Buckingham Palace just in time to get the last 2 first class tickets on Brit Air."  
    "Yes, one of my significant others is a 2 yo old Doberman pup.  He really needs some exercise so we are going to a secret beach in Mexico where he can run to his heart's content in the morning and take continue his guard dog training in the afternoon.  Excuse me now, I'm trying to work on this problem."

    You are not confronting him but letting him know you are not playing his game.  

  •  I notice that recording class IS permissible (12+ / 0-)

    if you have the okay from everyone IN the class. If you were to, say, want to do a "documentary" on his class, I'd put together a permission slip, get all your classmates to sign it, then borrow a large video camera and tripod from the Fine Arts department, citing the need to do a documentary on this class, and set it up in the corner and record the entire class. Do this at random intervals.

    You'd need to come up with a valid excuse for doing a "documentary" and should discuss it with other instuctors, even the Head. Do not mention your complaints.

    Two things will result. Either he behaves and actually teaches his class and you and everybody passes. Or he gets caught being a sexist assh*^e who opts out of actually teaching and you have the proof.

    A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

    by Gwennedd on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:29:02 PM PDT

    •  Splendidly Devious! (7+ / 0-)

      But sounds hard to pull off. I can almost guarantee the Fine Arts dpt. won't let me borrow a camera/tripod, and I don't know of anyone else who'd have one.

      Still, it's wonderfully devious! I love it!

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm. Know anyone doing videos through (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deja, pixxer, BlackSheep1, Lujane, FarWestGirl

        Fine Arts? They could do the "documentary".

        I'm fairly certain there would be some video cameras and equipment that are inter-department loaners. I had to tape "interviews" when taking a long distance education course in Child and Youth Care, and we had to borrow a camera etc, from the University. I just filled out appropriate paperwork. The Main Office would know.

        A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

        by Gwennedd on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:03:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know any of them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          These classes are in the computer science department in a small community college, but I do have to take a Fine Arts class. I'm just worried that he will ask around and find out I'm not doing a documentary an am actually taking an American Music class - nothing to do with film. I'm seriously a horrible liar.

          Wish he wasn't such a tool! None of the young guys (18-25) and none of the other male instructors are inappropriate around me. Never, ever. And since it's computer science, I'm used to being the only female in my classes, or 1 of 2.

          "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

          by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:20:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No special equip necessary (4+ / 0-)

            All you need is a smart phone, or a computer or iPad. Even a pocket tape recorder would do the trick if you are recording secretly. Many of my students with disabilities are allowed to record class--but they need advance written permission to do so, and that accommodation form is shared with the professor. You do not need to record video--audio will do what you need. Leave the device in the pocket of your jacket. Make sure it doesn't make a loud noise if you run out of tape.  

            If you don't have or decide not to record audio, then just take notes, and write down any stuff he says to you or to others, and write a little time stamp in the margin. Ask a friend in class to do the same.

            Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

            by Ree Zen on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:27:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  so is this turkey at an ACC or EPCC campus? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, FarWestGirl

            there's a known history at both with guys like this. Dean of Students office is the place to start.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 09:57:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody cares what he thinks (0+ / 0-)

            If the teacher is teaching CS at a small community college, he's got no power or influence outside of the classroom, and little within. And you have leverage with the administration, because bad PR costs them money, So my advice is to stop worrying about his ability to harm your career! Employers are more concerned with your ability to perform than with the opinion of one college professor.

            If he does anything else, I'd suggest getting everything in written complaints filed to the school's HR department. Discussions that aren't documented in writing won't have any effect. So they'll try to keep it as "discussions' instead of a written complaint, because then, on paper, nothing happened. They have to respond to a written notification on file, because there's a liability to the school if they're employing someone who's harassing students. Even if he's not breaking the law, he's causing an environment that's bad for students' education, and could become an embarrassment to the school.

            So remember - he's got minimal leverage over you, and if you document his behavior you've got tons of leverage with the administration, who he works for. Don't be obnoxious about it, of course, but be confident and factual. This guy is just a speed bump on your way to a career.

  •  im probably the last one ot give advice (6+ / 0-)

    about problems in college.

    i complained about financial messing up my loans to darn near everyone. then i was arrested by university cops for criminal trespass- during reg. hours in the financial aid office. yep-they did that. guess they thought it was a way to shut me up.

    i tell you that story because colleges are notorious for being their own judge and jury. if you fight this be prepared. if you dont fight it-well thats your call.

    personally id make damn sure not to be alone with this guy and i would tape everything. cover yourself.

    and frankly- i am still glad i fought the financial aid. it didnt change much if anything, but it hurts so much to go down with a whimper.
    fight the bastard.  just be smart about it. really smart.

    •  OMG! (9+ / 0-)

      I certainly don't want to get arrested!

      I had a woman in Fin Aid tell me, "We're not here to maintain lifestyles."

      I had a bit of an Alley McBeal moment and envisioned jumping over the desk and strangling her - but didn't act on it. ;-)

      I just said, "My car is over 20 yrs old, we don't have cable or ever eat out, my son is on free school lunch and food stamps. No, you're not maintaining any kind of lifestyle!"

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Try this... (9+ / 0-)

    First inappropriate comment he makes in class, tell him, in front of the entire class, that the comment is inappropriate.

    Second inappropriate comment: Tell him, again in front of the entire class, that the comment is inappropriate. Then immediately leave the class for the inevitable confrontation with the head of the department.

    Third inappropriate comment: Do not discuss the matter with him. Immediately head for the office of the college president. Tell that office that you have engaged in the graduated reporting as required, that absolutely no relief has been forthcoming, and that you demand corrective action be taken immediately.

    Fourth inappropriate comment: file a lawsuit for hostile workplace sexual discrimination in federal court - among other relief, seek an injunction prohibiting the instructor from continuing the harassment and prohibiting the instructor and school from retaliating against you.

    If this guy is the bastard you describe, line up your attorney (talk with the ACLU to see if they can line you up with a volunteer attorney) before classes start as you will be filing the suit before the fourth week of classes begins. Your professor will continue to harass you. It's in his nature and he thinks you are just a someone without a sense of humor. He will not change, and any challenge to his "authority" will cause him to double-down and get serious about his harassment towards you. Point of interest, as far as I know, all Texas public university (and Community College) professors need to take an annual or biennial compliance training which usually includes a module on sexual harassment. This is usually done, not as an actual learning experience for the faculty, but as a protection racket so the school can point to the successfully completed module and say, by way of defense, "See, we told him not to do this."

    I need to complete my set. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the white album on a wax cylinder?

    by gilacliff on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:05:17 PM PDT

    •  Document everything. (11+ / 0-)

      Make an appointment with the college's ombudsperson and explain your concerns.  

      Talk to someone in the Women's Resource Center.

      Document everything: for example, if he talks to you before or after class, or during lab, or requests you to come to office hours, document it all.  If possible, be with a friend or another student if he tries to approach you, so someone can corroborate your view of things.

      As someone else said, if he says anything inappropriate during lab, state it aloud: That's inappropriate...that's unprofessional...none of your business...whatever words feel right to you.

      Documentation will help you: date, time, what was said or done, where, and so on.  This may be a hassle, but it'll pay off if things hit the fan.  If another student can support what you document, it can only help.

      "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

      by Silencio on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:18:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what Mom said back in 2012 (6+ / 0-)

        Document everything!

        I haven't had any contact with him since the creeper incident in lab. We do not speak when passing in the halls.

        I also stayed up all night last night typing an entirely too long diary. It has dates. I condensed that version into this one.

        And I will call him out for his behavior in class. I just wish I didn't have to. He repulses me. I don't even want to see him in the halls, much less be stuck in his classroom for 4 hrs/week for 16 weeks.

        "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

        by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:43:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ACLU (0+ / 0-)

      I'll try them too. There's no money for an attorney (or even to get my car a/c fixed and we'll be hitting triple digits soon.)

      The man repulses me. I just wish they'd let the lady who taught the first class Spring 2014 teach the second class - or any of the other male faculty. Any one of them! Just not him.

      The thought of giving him any more chances to be a modern, respectable, professional man makes me mad. But if I'm stuck in his class, I'll certainly call him out on his behavior and comments.

      And, I think the Head might have been referring to the sexual harassment classes for faculty when she told a male student (he failed the guy when student became a 1st time dad and missed 2 classes) and myself that he would be receiving, "extensive training." Might have been the SH classes, but the girl who complained with me said he never stopped with the "hot young thing" comments in her class.

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:52:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Department of Education (Federal) (14+ / 0-)

    Office of Civil Rights is the agency that enforces Title IX (prohibiting sex discrimination in higher education). (Sexual harassment is definitely sex discrimination, well-established.) Here's the link to their basic page:

    Call them now (well, tomorrow during business hours) and tell them what you've said here, and ask their advice on whether you can file a complaint now or if not, what you should be doing to document things.

    (The enforcement is NOT by filing a lawsuit in federal court; it's an administrative procedure. I believe the threat is that the Feds can withhold federal funds from the school, such as Federal grants for their science research. That tends to get the school's attention pretty quickly.)

    I also agree with all the advice about refusing to engage in this jerk's game-playing. For example, "That's an inappropriate remark that you would never say to a male student. Please keep this strictly professional."

    •  Excellent! (6+ / 0-)

      Thanks, rugbymom.

      I will do that tomorrow!

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:37:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True, but the point is immediate relief (5+ / 0-)

      Filing the suit and serving the school brings the school's legal counsel into the equation. They will file a motion to dismiss, but the bad publicity of a student filing a suit will possibly get them to thinking about the issue of this professor in class.

      The administrative remedy will take far longer than the time she has to devote to finishing her degree. Throw the brush-back pitch and make the school squirm for a bit. Yes the case will be dismissed for lack of completion of administrative remedies, but if she files the suit and simultaneously seeks administrative remedies, the school's legal counsel will know they are in it for the long haul and they better clean up their act.

      Being quiet is the least effective approach. Go nuclear. Get the school's attention. Convince the parents of the rising class of high-school seniors that sending their girls to this school is a dangerous action that will get those girls raped by the school's professors. Do whatever you need to do to convince the school that it is in the school's financial self-interest to clean up the classroom.

      Host a forum at an off-campus coffee house discussing sexual harassment in the classrooms of xxx-university (don't name names in that forum - discuss the various forms of sexual harassment and how to report it).

      Get proactive. Just because Congress has set up a procedure for the investigation of sexual harassment complaints, there is nothing to require you to file it as a sexual harassment complaint. File in state court as a conspiracy to defraud you by encouraging you to spend your money seeking a degree while the conspirators (the professor and the school) are actively seeking to prevent you from earning a living in your chosen career by belittling you and taking actions to make you think that you are not psychologically competent to enter the field, instead of encouraging you to succeed. You should suspect that their actions will not stop even if you do succeed as upon information and belief, you are convinced that the conspirators will undertake post-graduation action to prevent you from actually getting a job in the field.

      Or, file the lawsuit alleging that you have a deeply-held religious belief that requires you to redress your grievances through the courts, as the FSM always intended.

      If you don't stand up for your rights, no one else will either.

      I need to complete my set. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the white album on a wax cylinder?

      by gilacliff on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:21:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm tempted to make a comment about open carry. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deja, Santa Susanna Kid

    I'm tempted to make a comment about open carry.

  •  Make it clear (10+ / 0-)

    Make it clear that you are there to learn. Odds are, the prof will be an ass again, to you or someone else. Should the prof address any BS towards you, the best thing to say--loud and clear in front of the rest of the class--is quite simple: "I am here to learn. That comment was inappropriate. Let's get back to the class content." That's all. Do not engage further in front of the class. Treat them as future witnesses. If the prof asks legitimate questions, answer fully and completely as long as you stay on the subject matter of the class. Be a model student. Don't mutter or grumble under your breath. Make it crystal clear that the prof is the troublemaker. The prof will step in it again, undoubtedly.

    As for a lawyer, your local legal aid society might be able to recommend someone. Many lawyers will give you a free session to discuss possible strategy. The right one might be willing to assist you pro bono. Other sources for help and advice might be an area women's shelter or domestic violence hotline. They would also know who the friendly lawyers are.

    You are right to be concerned about future references when you look for work. Line up some good references from other professors now. Obviously, you cannot expect good references from this prof or the chair. Find others.

    Many campuses also have a free counseling center. Go there for extra emotional support. Find a counselor with whom you feel comfortable. Tell them what is happening and what you need. If you need to, ask for anti-anxiety meds. Everyone in my PhD program was in counseling or on meds before they graduated. It can really help with the stress, as can exercise. Even taking the steps a flight or two before class can help with the stress.

    It is going to be a difficult class, so think of it as a kind of performance. Document everything. Remember that other students are watching. Make friends in class. Go out for coffee before or after class, or meet and study together. Look at their work and let them see yours. In case of trouble, the support of other students can be invaluable.

    Remember, if you try to take the prof on yourself, it will be a nasty fight with the very real possibility that you will lose and risk your professional career. The prof and the school have an awful lot of power. On the other hand, if you cultivate friends in the class, if you are always the professional one, then the prof is more likely to hang himself.

    Remember that you are not alone. Other students on your campus are going through the same thing. Admin know the truth--and so do the other profs and students. Good luck, and watch your back.

    Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

    by Ree Zen on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:39:20 PM PDT

    •  Great advice, Ree Zen (3+ / 0-)

      Especially about making sure to be the model student. I'm a very candid person and have a horrible poker face, so it will be trying.

      Thanks for the great advice.

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:29:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Been there (4+ / 0-)

        I had problems myself in grad school, and now I adjunct at my local U. I've been teaching my whole career, so I have seen the problem from both sides. There are people on campus who are on your side--but you must do your best to not give the prof any hint of a legitimate excuse to dock your grades. It's not fair; it is what it is. Find allies on campus--other profs, fellow classmates, counseling, and admin. Keep your head, and let the bastard hang himself with his own behavior. Document everything you can, any way you can. Go to the dean at the first hint of new trouble.

        Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

        by Ree Zen on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:35:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Does the school have a local paper? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deja, BlackSheep1, Chi

    Or the city you're in? Threaten to take it there. Like roaches, such people hate the light. And a "sexism ignored on XYZ University" headline is sometimes the kind of thing a local newspaper likes to run.

  •  hey one more thing- let us know how this all plays (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gwennedd, Deja, jan4insight

    out and lots of luck!

  •  Share responsibility? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deja, jan4insight, live1, Chi

    For many reasons (including basic ethics and their own legal liability), the college should be as interested as you and your fellow students in monitoring this situation.

    I don't know about Texas, but in Oregon free--or means tested--legal advice is available. See what's available and ask about the best way to offer the college a little legal protection--by letting them do the videotaping; if you do it there can be too many complications.

    Be sure to write a follow-up diary. This is a terrible situation, but not a rare one. Others may have an easier time following what you learn, and it will sure feel better than the "stuck" sensation you describe.

    If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign of weakness. President Obama

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:17:19 PM PDT

    •  That's what I thought (0+ / 0-)

      That's why I thought I could copy the Dean in my email to the Dpt Head stating that I'd be recording him in class. Maybe I should suggest they do the recording.

      I'll write a follow-up diary and let everyone know what happened.


      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If it's a small community college (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deja, BlackSheep1, GreenMother

    then can't you take the course that only your nemesis teaches at another community college nearby and transfer the credits?

    I understand that solves only the degree problem, but it seems to me you need to solve that one more than you need to solve the grievance problem, which I am NOT suggesting you abandon. I teach at a community college myself, so I understand the issues here.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:02:09 PM PDT

    •  I'm in the boonies (3+ / 0-)

      I live 15 miles from the main campus and 20 miles from a satellite in the opposite direction, and have classes at both of those campuses. There is Houston Community College, and I'm over 40 miles from their nearest campus. I have thought about this as an option.

      It could be done, and it pisses me off that I would have to do that. Even more so now that my car a/c went out. But if that's what I end up having to do, then I will.

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:13:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the college isn't taking this seriously, the... (3+ / 0-)

    If the college isn't taking this seriously, they could be in for a world of hurt.... 1. Document everything. 2. Was your previous complaint formal? Do,you have a record of making the complaint & the dept. Response? 3. Skip,the dept head. Go to the Dean and ask what to do- inform her/him that you feel it is an unsafe environment and you are considering asking for legal advice. 4. If the Dean isn't responsive, don't wait. Go to the provost / chief academic officer.

    This is not a safe environment for you. Because of the authority position, the entire college is responsible for his behavior...if they don't address it.

  •  A few things: (0+ / 0-)

    1. Do not have a public fight with this turkey at this time. He might be able to affect your graduation or your future job prospects. He might be able to turn others in the department against you.

    2. Just show up, do the work, never be alone with him, and get the class over with. Get another student whom you trust to be your buddy--never lose sight of each other in the class. Safety in numbers.

    3. Get recommendations from other profs/administrators. Keep them on file. If you are applying to grad school, get them sent to the grad schools.

    4. Go to the dean. Explain the problem with the instructor and with the department head. In case things get out of hand, you will be on record as having reported it.

    5. After you graduate, or after you have your grad school acceptance, then go public: go to the media, go to the board of trustees, go to the ACLU.

    Best wishes. Sorry you have experienced this crappy behavior. Sadly, we sometimes have to measure our responses to crappy behavior in light of our important goals.

    •  The problem with this advice (0+ / 0-)

      is that it doesn't address the problem when it is occurring. My wife was given similar advice when she was being sexually harassed by her employer at summer job during college. He also happened to have previously employed other male siblings and was somewhat of a "family friend". Her parents advised her to just get through the summer, not be alone with him or let him shut the door in the office and not make waves. This made the entire summer extremely stressful for her.

      If it's bothering you this much, don't wait to report it. Women should not have to accept or 'take' harassment in order to be successful. Hold him and the school to act with responsible, respectful behavior toward all students.

      Find out the protocol and report it. Your mental and emotional experiences can effect you for far longer than the grade in one class.

      Definitely line up reverences from other professors. Definitely show up and do the work required and have a buddy with you.

      But waiting to report it will only let him get away with it, again. From what you have said he has done this to other women, if they have also just tried to 'ignore it' and get on with life then this Professor is free to continue his inappropriate behavior with others. Find others who have experienced it. You can all report it together. That's safety in numbers.

  •  I am looking at some sample policies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On sexual harassment from a few universities.  One particular university happens to suggest confronting a harasser, telling that person to stop and explaining clearly why the behavior in unacceptable, but acknowledges that an alternative may be necessary if it is not possible or if the student feels uncomfortable doing so.  This particular university suggests several offices that a victim might go to.  One such office at this school is the Office of the Dean of Students.  Most universities have some sort of office with that function.

    If the time frame for filing an official complaint has expired, that is the nature of due process.  Despite this, you should consult with the relevant school authorities on what the protocol is for filing a complaint in the future.  This would serve the dual functions of making sure that they are aware of a potential problem while making sure you are fully aware of your options.  It is important that you do this consultation face-to-face and not by e-mail.  Since you say you have a horrible poker face, my hope would be that whoever you meet with will come away with a clear impression that this has affected you greatly and will be sympathetic.

    At most schools, a department head is probably supposed to report complaints such as yours to the dean or another appropriate official.  Escalating this to a level above the dept. head would also let them know if she failed to comply with a duty to report.  

  •  Could the diarist possibly take the course at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart n Mind, laird

    another institution and transfer the credits?

       Trying to record a class when the syllabus bans recording is a sure way to get kicked out of class.
        And, BTW, she's on shaky ground when she complains about the prof notifying the financial aid folks about her absences when she was, in fact, absent.

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      You're pissed off, and right to be. But don't let anger drive you to make mistakes that he can use against you. Hold yourself to a  high standard of professionalism, so he doesn't have anything to use against you.

      Remember, your goal is to graduate. He's not important enough to lose your degree over. And that may be why he's being a jerk to his students - nobody else takes him seriously. So don't make him more important in your life than he is in real life.

  •  Is it possible to take this class at another (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    institution, one that your current school will accept credit hours from?

    Because if it is, then I say do that.

    Its so much work to try and catch a pervert while you are already working your tail off in a degree plan like that.

    And it seems to me that the administration is complicit if they are allowing Dr Octoman to forbid recording devices since he gets busted being an inappropriate ass regularly.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:42:02 AM PDT

    •  And, I wonder if you would seek assistance from (0+ / 0-)

      someone other than than the department head? She's obviously not helping. Is there a committee who handles curricula, etc?

      Also, where I went to undergrad, degree programs were organized within the university. One for education (as in learning how to teach), liberal arts, institute of technology, etc. And, we had to meet with a representative not-the-dept-head to make sure we were taking classes that fulfilled the degree.

      Problem will be, in part, a financial issue. They are probably going to see it as "lost revenue" to accept the credits from another institution. But, they'd never admit it. So, they will make it hard for you. But, also remember, that part of it is academic one else does it better than they do. You'd have to do some homework, to attempt to prove that the course at another institution is equivalent or better than the one at the current institution. Syllabus, book, perhaps instructor notes and example tests, as proof.

      Even then, some universities do "calculations", translating credits from one university to another, and it always seems like these calculations come up short.

      All said, I'm not trying to scare you---I think it's a great idea to go somewhere else. I just want you to be prepared.

      As a last resort, if this institution won't put in a different instructor and won't let you transfer credits from elsewhere, you could also research transferring all of your classes to another institution, hope that you still have only one last class there, and graduate. You won't be the first to have done this. It might cost extra money to do this kind of transfer, but, it might be worth it. A year of this jerk would be horrible---especially if he's into retaliation.

  •  Start with the dean of students. (0+ / 0-)

    It may not seem like it but between you, the instructor and the university, you are the least at risk here if you refuse to go along with it.  The school should have some process in place for students who can't take a certain class from a certain instructor.

    If it doesn't seem like it's going to get resolved before you need to register for classes you should look into taking the class at another school and transferring.  "I couldn't take a class because of a personal conflict with the instructor," is a perfectly legitimate thing to say.

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