Students and staff allege sexual abuse and harassment by UW academics in anonymous Google form

UW-Madison ranked 11th for the university with the highest number of reported incidents

Last month, Karen Kelsky created a public Google doc called "Sexual Harassment In the Academy" for college women to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment.

Of the more than 2,000 reports so far, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has 10, the 11th highest on the spreadsheet.

None of those who submitted accounts were undergraduate students. Seven of the 10 reports were related to one department. The Tab Wisconsin has reached out to them for comment.

A PhD student in the department alleges harassment is common.

"It's an open secret that several senior male faculty are serial sexual harassers, and have gotten away with it in plain sight for decades," the student wrote.

This student claims because of this experience of consistent sexual harassment they are leaving academia and have developed a panic disorder.

Another PhD student alleged one professor from a different department lowered grades if his advances were not accepted.

"Professor… took every opportunity to grope female grad students. If you rejected his advance, he lowered your grade for his course, which was a required core course for many emphases," the TA said. "I did better than a fellow grad student who ended up slapping him and pushing him off of her. He gave her a D which meant she could not continue in grad school. "

Another PhD student wrote a similar complaint, describing how a senior PhD student was involved in a grades-for-sex scandal but was still allowed to graduate with his class.

"The message was clear: this man was graduating with the full support and esteem of our prestigious department," the student alleged.

The most thorough account came from a graduate student who witnessed the harassment.

According to the graduate student, her friend was asked by a male university scholar to meet about the possibility of co-authoring a textbook. The graduate student then received a panicked text from her friend stating the scholar was trying to convince her to sleep with him.

"It was clear to me that he had offered her a co-editorship on this textbook and was dangling it in front of my friend while simultaneously begging her to spend the night with him," the student said. "He chose his victims carefully, and my friend was incredibly vulnerable."

Not all of these allegations were reported to the university – but the Google doc claims those that were yielded no consequences to the alleged perpetrators.

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