University settles sex claims
Publication Date: Friday Apr 28, 1995

STANFORD: University settles sex claims

One professor retires, a second is demoted

Stanford University has settled two sexual harassment claims by demoting one faculty member and forcing a second into retirement, according to Stanford News Service.

Both claims involved the School of Medicine, which was also involved in two high-profile sexual harassment cases several years ago, prompting Stanford to implement a new policy of investigating sexual harassment complaints and protecting such victims from faculty retaliation.

Dr. Thomas Stamey has been removed from his position as chairman of the Department of Urology and has taken a permanent reduction in pay, in addition to contributing financially to the woman staff member who accused him of harassment.

Stamey agreed to the settlement but denied he had harassed the woman.

In the second case, Dr. Seymour Levine has retired from his position in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Levine was accused of harassment in 1993 by Helen Bae, a research assistant, who filed a claim with the university and a lawsuit. Both have been settled.

The financial settlement in the Levine case was not disclosed. Stanford President Gerhard Casper had earlier sent Levine a letter of censure.

Dr. Robert Cutler, an associate dean at the medical school, said Monday that he was pleased the cases had been settled. "This sends a message about how seriously Stanford takes sexual harassment," Cutler said.

Stanford came under scrutiny when Dr. Frances Conley, a neurosurgeon, accused a departmental colleague in 1991 of a pattern of sexual harassment over the years.

That case prompted the formation of a new university policy on sexual harassment in 1993.

Dr. David Korn, the dean of the medical school at the time, said he was frustrated because it was difficult to change attitudes within the medical school.

In his letter of censure to Levine, Casper wrote, "I am persuaded that you repeatedly hugged, kissed or touched Ms. Bae without her consent or encouragement."

The civil suit filed against Levine by Bae has been settled as part of the agreement.

"Allegations of sexual harassment require careful, thorough and responsible investigation, and such investigations take time," Casper said in a statement. "The full record and any sanctions must be weighed carefully."

--Don Kazak

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