George Mason professor retires amid sexual harassment allegations


FAIRFAX, Va. – A George Mason University professor facing termination court cases retired this spring amid accusations that he had sexually burdened a pupil, a declaration that made others come back and say they were harassed, interviews and documents show. Peter Pober, a communications professor, had presided over the nationally acclaimed speech crew at the public college in northern Virginia. Official papers and interviews with former crew members open a window into Pober’s fall from prominence on the faculty.

Those files encompass written testimony detailing allegations about a February episode concerning the professor and the scholar, who graduated in the spring. In an interview, the man who wrote that testimony said he became coming ahead out of the subject that Pober is probably able to move to a function at another college.

“He nevertheless has one of the exceptional résumés of any train inside the USA, in terms of each aggressive success and just sheer revel in,” he said. “I simply felt as though he turned into going to end up with any other job in education and do the equal factor to different humans as he did to me.”

The allegations against the George Mason professor come amid a bigger countrywide conversation about sexual harassment and misconduct that reverberated throughout the academy and industries, including amusement, media, and era. A principal issue includes harassers capable of concealing in plain sight, now and again shifting from one process to another.

In his written testimony, the person alleged that Pober made sexual advances. According to the documents, the come-upon allegedly occurred simultaneously as the two were on my own in a hotel room after a night of heavy consumption.

George Mason professor retires amid sexual harassment allegations

The Washington Post typically does not become aware of sufferers of sexual misconduct unless they voluntarily provide their names to be published. The guy requested that his name not be published because the query turned out not to be his personal. The guy filed a Title IX harassment criticism with the school, and university officers observed sufficient records to assist his allegation “that Dr. Pober engaged in behavior that qualifies as Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment” in violation of university coverage, the one’s files to display.

The man became the statistics over to The Post. George Mason did not launch facts from its research, but a college spokesman showed that the documents supplied by the scholar were authentic. “During the research, Dr. Pober confirmed that he advised you that [he] wanted to have sex with you,” a letter explaining the college’s findings states. Pober asserted to The Post that he had an “irrelevant communique” with a student, although he denied some of what became allegedly said throughout the incident.

“I admit that during February 2018, I had a beside-the-point communication with a pupil on a school trip, even though I hold to deny several of the allegations concerning the content material of that conversation,” Pober said in the declaration, which became furnished using his legal profession. “I apologized to the pupil that night and keep to remorse my words.” Pober, who did no longer have tenure, retired in May after the faculty started “termination for cause court cases,” university spokesman Michael Sandler said in a statement.

Sandler stated that retirement benefits are employee statistics, meaning the college can’t discuss financial information about Pober’s departure. Pober’s legal professional declined to share details of her client’s retirement.

George Mason professor retires amid sexual harassment allegations

Former group members described Pober as awesome but annoying, a powerful and respected chief in collegiate speech. He has been a university employee since 2003 and has served as chair of the Faculty Senate. The man who said he turned into stressed employing Pober turned into a speech team member at the time of the incident. “George Mason University takes enforcement of Title IX very seriously,” Sandler said, referring to the federal regulation prohibiting sex discrimination in colleges that receive federal investment. “The university thoroughly investigates Title IX proceedings, and when there is proof of violations, it takes an appropriate movement.”

The documents the person furnished to The Post show that George Mason took “fast, decisive movement in this remember,” Sandler stated in a declaration, which referred to what a research keeps. Sandler said George Mason no longer had a report of court cases against Pober before February; however, after it received the initial allegation, college officials obtained “several other lawsuits.” Pober became an administrative go-away, and the college ordered him to prevent interacting with students. A letter furnished with the aid of the former student indicates that George Mason decided to region Pober on administrative depart in mid-February.

“I even have constantly considered myself a trainer,” Pober said in his announcement. “As hard as it was to decide to retire from GMU, that choice turned into the proper one for the college and its forensics program.”One of the other court cases about Pober got here from a former member of George Mason’s speech crew – the forensics team – who alleged Pober made a sexual increase. However, the incident occurred after the man graduated. The man said he met with Pober, waiting to discuss an education function.

“During what turned into imagined to be an enterprise dinner, Dr. Pober bought several beverages for the two people, made unwanted sexual advances as soon as I became intoxicated, after which the following morning claimed he did not forget what passed off,” the man stated in an announcement to The Post. He spoke on the circumstance of anonymity due to privacy concerns.

The guy, who said he later worked as teaching for George Mason’s crew, filed a complaint with the college in March, three years after the alleged incident.

He stated he did no longer initially come forward because he did not consider he had grounds to invite George Mason to behave – he becomes neither a college worker on time nor a student. After mastering that a person else had filed a complaint, he determined to proportion his revel in.

Aly Jones
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