👓 Harvey Weinstein shows how not to respond | Axios

Harvey Weinstein shows how not to respond after allegations from Uma Thurman by Mike Allen (Axios)
Stunning series of interviews by Maureen Dowd, on the cover of N.Y. Times Sunday Review, "A Goddess, A Mogul And a Mad Genius ... Uma Thurman ... is finally ready to talk about Harvey Weinstein" — and Quentin Tarantino

This is a simple me-too article (in the original meaning of “We’ve got to post something, but don’t have anything interesting of our own”) where Axios is just recapping some other reportage going around the web. Sadly nothing new here, but they had to post something about what is going on with the story. Would be nice to see them doing some original reporting on the matter.

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👓 This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry | New York Times

Opinion | This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry by Maureen Dowd (New York Times)
The actress is finally ready to talk about Harvey Weinstein.

I’m wondering why, if she spent so much time waiting to put this out, why there isn’t more “story” here? This feels like it was rushed out despite the fact that there’s a lot of personal touch to the story. I expected something far more painful and scathing.

👓 Sexual harassment allegations roil Princeton University | WHYY

Sexual harassment allegations roil Princeton University by Avi Wolfman-Arent (WHYY)
Another high-profile instance of sexual harassment has rocked a major institution — this time Princeton University in New Jersey. And students say administrators didn’t act transparently or strongly enough when disciplining the alleged perpetrator, a decorated professor.

Once you start reaching Sergio Verdu’s age, and particularly with his achievements, your value to the University becomes more geared toward service. How much service can a professor do with an albatross like this hanging around their neck?

It would be nice if Universities were required to register offenders like this so that applicants to programs would be aware of them prior to applying–a sort of Megan’s Law for the professoriate. Naturally they don’t do this because it goes against their interests, but by the same token this is how a lot of issues run out of control within their sports programs as well. If someone did create such a website, I imagine the chilling effects on colleges and universities would be such that they might change their tunes about how these cases are handled. Immediately recent cases like Michigan State’s athletics problem, USC’s Medical School Dean issues, Christian Ott at Caltech come to mind, but I’m sure there must be hundreds if not thousands of others.

Maybe we need a mashup site that’s a cross between RateMyProfessors.com and California’s Megan’s Law site, but which specifically targeted Universities?

Fortunately even given Sergio’s accomplishments and profile, it will probably take forever for web searches for his name to not surface the story within the top couple of links, but this is sad consolation, particularly in a field like Information Theory which is heavily underrepresented already.

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👓 Read Professor Verdu’s emails to student where he invites her over to watch explicit film before sexually harassing her | The Tab

Read Professor Verdu’s emails to student where he invites her over to watch explicit film before sexually harassing her (Princeton University)
‘P.S. Please call me Sergio ☺️’

I was just wondering why Sergio Verdu was so quiet on Twitter. Then I wondered why his Twitter account had disappeared.

Now I know the sad and painfully disappointing answer.

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👓 Tavis Smiley Announces Multiple Deals on Multiple Platforms Including New Online/TV Series

Tavis Smiley Announces Multiple Deals on Multiple Platforms Including New Online/TV Series by Tavis Smiley (Facebook)
The Smiley Group, Inc., holding company for award-winning talk show host Tavis Smiley, has announced multiple new deals across an assortment of platforms aimed at reaching a broader, younger and more international audience. “Every crisis presents us an opportunity,” explained Smiley. “I look forward to speaking with a louder, clearer voice to even more people. There is just too much going on that demands our immediate attention.” Following a decision by PBS to end distribution of his long-running nightly talk show, Tavis Smiley, the broadcaster has signed on to host a new online series called “The Upside with Tavis Smiley.” The weekly interview series to commence second quarter 2018, will celebrate the spirit of resilience, the power to overcome that resides in each of us.

👓 PBS Chief Talks Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, #MeToo | Variety

PBS Chief Talks Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, #MeToo by Daniel Holloway (Variety)
PBS in recent months parted ways with two of its highest-profile on-air personalities, Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley, amid sexual-misconduct allegations. Speaking Tuesday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger addressed both departures as well as the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault. “When we are aware of issues, we’ll move quickly, as we did with Charlie Rose, as we did [with] Tavis Smiley,” Kerger said.

Oddly, I hadn’t heard much about the Tavis Smiley allegations. Most of the news was just that he was out, but without any direct story. Perhaps I missed it during the holidays??

👓 21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal | Reuters

21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal (Reuters)
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has reached a $90 million settlement of shareholder claims arising from the sexual harassment scandal at its Fox News Channel, which cost the jobs of longtime news chief Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O'Reilly.
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👓 Another USC medical school dean resigns | Washington Post

Another USC medical school dean resigns by Susan Svrluga (Washington Post)
The University of Southern California announced Thursday that Rohit Varma has resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine. He had replaced a dean who was banned from campus after allegations of drug use and partying.

I’ve been so busy in the last month, I had to do a double-take at the word ANOTHER!

The statement USC released seems highly disingenuous and inconsistent to me.

“As you may have heard, today Dr. Rohit Varma resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC,” the school’s provost, Michael Quick, wrote in a message to the community.

“I understand how upsetting this situation is to all of us, but we felt it was in the best interest of the faculty, staff, and students for all of us to move in this direction. Today we learned previously undisclosed information that caused us to lose confidence in Dr. Varma’s ability to lead the school. Our leaders must be held to the highest standards. Dr. Varma understands this, and chose to step down.”

First they say Varma resigned as dean which makes it seem as if he’s stepping aside of his own accord when the next paragraph indicates that the University leadership has lost confidence in him and forced him out. So which is it? He resigned or was fired?

Secondly they mentioned “undisclosed information”. This is painful because the so-called undisclosed information was something that USC was not only aware of, but actually paid off a person involved to the tune of more than $100,000!

USC paid her more than $100,000 and temporarily blocked Varma from becoming a full member of the faculty, according to the records and interviews.

“The behavior you exhibited is inappropriate and unacceptable in the workplace, reflects poor judgment, is contrary to the University’s standards of conduct, and will not be tolerated at the University of Southern California,” a USC official wrote in a 2003 letter of reprimand.”

Even the LA Times reports: “The sexual harassment allegation is well known in the upper echelons of the university, but not among many of the students and staff.” How exactly was this “undisclosed?!”

So, somehow, a person who was formally reprimanded years ago (and whose reprimands were later greatly lessened by the way) was somehow accidentally promoted to dean of an already embattled division of the university?? I’m not really sure how he even maintained his position after the original incident much less subsequently promoted and allowed to continue on to eventually be appointed dean years later. Most shocking, there was no mention of his other positions at USC. I take this to mean that he’s still on the faculty, he’s still on staff at the hospital, and he’s still got all the rights and benefits of his previous positions at the University? I sincerely hope that he learned his lesson in 2003, but suspect that he didn’t, and if this is the case and others come forward, he will be summarily dispatched. For the University’s sake, I further hope they’re looking into it internally with a fine-toothed comb before they’re outed again by the Los Angeles Times reporting staff who seem to have a far higher level of morality than the USC leadership over the past several years.

During a month which has seen an inordinate amount of sexual harassment backlash, I’m shocked that USC has done so very little and has only acted (far too long after-the-fact) to sweep this all under the rug.

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An Open Letter to The Uber Board and Investors

An Open Letter to The Uber Board and Investors (NewCo Shift)
By now a staggering number of people recognize the name of Susan Fowler and have read some account of her experiences of sexism, sexual…
Feb. 23rd, 2017 By now a staggering number of people recognize the name of Susan Fowler and have read some account of her experiences of sexism, sexual harassment and horrendous management at Uber. So what explains the silence of Uber’s investors? Continue reading “An Open Letter to The Uber Board and Investors”
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