Equity & Diversity News in Brief

Harvard Closes Education Lab, Suspends Its Leader, in Wake of Harassment Probe

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 16, 2019 1 min read
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Harvard University has suspended Roland G. Fryer Jr. and shuttered his Education Innovation Laboratory a year after allegations of sexual harassment by one of the leading education economists in the nation were made.

The university made the decision following multiple investigations into the lab’s finances and Title IX complaints by previous employees. It found Fryer “engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct toward several individuals, resulting in the creation of a hostile work environment over the course of several years,” and also violated the university’s code of professional conduct.

A lawyer representing Fryer did not respond to requests for comment, but in a previous statement, Fryer denied all the allegations.

It’s a sharp derailment for Fryer, who at 30 was the youngest African-American to earn tenure at Harvard. His groundbreaking research on the causes and proposed solutions to academic achievement gaps helped earn him a prestigious “genius” fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2011.

A version of this article appeared in the July 17, 2019 edition of Education Week as Harvard Closes Education Lab, Suspends Its Leader, in Wake of Harassment Probe

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