January 23, 2021

Prompted by complaints, Temple taps law firm to probe education college leadership

...Conditions had reached a breaking point with Gregory M. Anderson, dean of Temple’s college of education and human development, she wrote to the university’s provost in August 2019. In a six-page memo, Goldrick-Rab complained about “hostile behavior” by Anderson and asked that she and the center she runs be transferred to another college within the university.

Anderson once stood over her and yelled for 14 minutes, she wrote, despite her repeatedly asking him to stop. When she told him she wanted a transfer, he allegedly responded: “You’re not going anywhere. You can’t — I own you.”

Asked this month about the memo, obtained by The Inquirer, she declined to comment. But her complaints weren’t unique. About half of the 70 full-time faculty in July signed a letter in which they raised issues about the dean’s leadership, saying faculty were “deeply concerned about faculty members’ loss of voice in our own college, and about a growing climate of fear, mistrust, and intimidation.”

...Temple would not describe the scope of the education college review. A faculty member interviewed by the lawyers said they indicated they were looking at the culture and climate of the college, the decisions around program changes, and whether there were questionable ethical decisions.

In a statement, Anderson said he is cooperating with the review.

“As a Black academic whose research focuses on access and equity, I am particularly committed to accountability,” he said. “University deans must make difficult, and sometimes unpopular, decisions each day. I believe once the process has concluded, the facts will show that all my decisions adhere to university policies and contractual obligations.”

...Aneta Pavlenko, a tenured professor of applied linguistics, resigned in December 2016 after she said the dean unfairly attempted to increase her course load and assign her to classes she wasn’t qualified to teach. The move, she contended, was part of retaliation after she shared an email with graduate students in 2014 about a plan to discontinue all graduate assistantships for doctoral students. She said a program coordinator position and other responsibilities also were taken from her...


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