An interesting fight is brewing at the University of California. Alexander McPherson, 64, is a leading biologist who has taken a stand against mandatory sexual harassment training on principle. Among other things, he objected to the requirement as an infringement of academic freedom and an act of political correctness. He may lose his tenured position and the University may lose a researcher responsible for $20 million a year in grants.
McPherson must attend a training course by November 12 to regain his standing — he has been suspended from all supervision and management duties. He stated: “I have consistently refused to take such training on the grounds that the adoption of the requirement was a naked political act by the state that offended my sensibilities, violated my rights as a tenured professor, impugned my character and cast a shadow of suspicion on my reputation and career. I even offered to go to jail if the university persisted in persecuting me for my refusal. We Scots are very stubborn in matters of this sort.”
Under a California law passed in 2004, all supervisors of businesses with over 50 people must undergo sexual harassment training. The University says that 97 percent of the school’s faculty have completed the training.
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