Last month, in an update to a report on this blog about misconduct allegations against University of California, Santa Barbara, archaeologist Danielle Kurin, I wrote about a Title IX complaint that had been filed by an alleged victim of sexual assault. The assault, at the hands of Kurin's then husband, Enmanuel Gomez Choque, took place at a field school in Peru that Kurin directed in 2018. The survivor of the assault, whom I identified as Student No. 3 to protect her identity, told me that her complaint had been rejected on the grounds that the incident took place in Peru and was not a UCSB activity.
Traditionally, under Title IX, faculty members have been held responsible for their behavior even when outside the United States. However, under the Trump administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, new regulations designed to significantly weaken Title IX protections are due to go into effect on August 14. A number of organizations have filed suit in federal court to block some or all of these regulatory changes, and so it is possible that UCSB's Title IX office has jumped the gun and put them into effect before it is actually necessary to do so.
In my June 10 update on this, Student No. 3, who has been traumatized by her experiences to the extent that she no longer wants to participate in archaeological field schools, commented on the university's handling of her complaint:
"I got the news about Title IX last Friday. I have taken a couple of weeks to digest. Essentially, because the incident occurred in a program (through IFR) that was not sanctioned or ran by USCB, it is out of their jurisdiction to take any action. I pressed and mentioned that surely two filings against Kurin is enough to at least reevaluate her as a professor, but the woman I spoke to simply repeated the information about jurisdiction."
[Student No. 3 is referring to other Title IX complaints that were filed around the time that hers was]
Student No. 3 further commented:
Addendum: The Institute for Field Research, which sponsored Kurin's 2018 field school, found her to have engaged in misconduct in regards to the sexual assault of Student No. 3. In a defamation suit Kurin has filed against me for my truthful reporting on her history and behavior, Kurin claims that IFR only found against Gomez and another Peruvian, and that it had ended its association with her "without prejudice." That is false, as is clear not only from the IFR's former executive director's statement to the field school students (see below, I have published this image before), but also according to IFR officials in a "Town Hall" they held recently with UCLA graduate students.
While the IFR was careful about making any public statements about severing its relationship with Kurin, its representatives told students that at least one reason she was found to have committed misconduct was that she allowed a drunken Gomez into the house where the students were living even though the sexual assault victim was sheltering and hiding there.
"It was her duty to prevent him access to us and she failed to do so," as one of the students put it.
As I reported earlier, she then tried to mollify the students during a meeting the next day, and even suggested (there are recordings) that it was the student's own fault for drinking.
|Boytner's message to the 2018 field school students|