|Duke University/WikiMedia Commons|
Update 28 February: Further investigation of this case only adds to the evidence that this particular individual has harassed women, especially students, over the past two decades at least, and his reputation has spread widely. In other venues, and in keeping with the principles I outline above, I have named the anthropologist under investigation on social media. For completeness I will name him here:
William Hylander, emeritus professor, Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University
I should add that I never name accused individuals unless I am quite sure of the facts. In this case there is ample and highly credible evidence that the individual has engaged in past harassment behavior, and that the investigation I refer to is actually taking place. I am making no comments about the validity of the accusations currently being investigated by the Duke administration.
Additional thoughts March 6, 2018: Since preparing this blog post, something came along to remind me of one of the most egregious examples of the weaknesses in the Title IX process--Michigan State University's investigation of the sexual misconduct charges against Larry Nassar. The university is now facing an investigation by the Department of Education into how and why it dismissed charges brought by Amanda Thomashow, who was subjected to horrendous violation by the good doctor. The Detroit News has kept abreast of this story, and the serious conflicts of interest demonstrated in the "investigation" of the matter by Title IX investigator Kristine Moore. The Atlantic has also covered this well. Moore prepared two reports on the matter, one for Thomashow that cleared Nassar, and the other a confidential document for the university, which also cleared Nassar but warned about its potential liability. Moore consulted "experts" with clear ties to Nassar in reaching her conclusions. Moore was later promoted to be MSU's assistant general counsel.
Update April 9, 2018: Hylander's name has now been deleted from the Duke evolutionary anthropology faculty page. He had been in the "emeritus" section of that page for many years, but has now vanished. I will provide more details as they emerge.
Update April 10, 2018: I now have it confirmed that the university has forced Bill Hylander to resign his emeritus status as a result of the sexual harassment investigation against him. The Duke administration will not comment on that decision publicly, however, according to its chief spokesperson with whom I was in touch yesterday. That's unfortunate, for the reasons I outline above. And there's another very sad aspect of this. Hylander was a talented researcher in the evolution of the primate face, both human and non-human. I have been told by former students in the evolutionary anthropology department that many women would have wanted to either study with him, be mentored by him, or otherwise take collegial advantage of his expertise. But given his longstanding reputation for harassment, they avoided him instead. That's bad for them and their careers, and it's bad for the science.