There is a male professor for whom numerous rumors over many years point toward a sexual predator who allegedly preys on the undergraduates in an aggressive/violent manner. Hypothetically, let’s say Professor “Bonaparte” is a faculty member at a premier mathematics department at a top public university in northern California. A couple of years ago, he was elected to the National Academy. My first reaction was “now, they will never do anything about him, even if someone complains.”
A male visitor to the department once told me he hated this professor. They had been graduate students together in the department where Professor Bonaparte was now employed. The visitor said he hated Professor Bonaparte based on the stories he used to tell about women, about “throwing them up against the wall” and so on. One of the male graduate students in the department also hated him, saying Professor Bonaparte had attacked his girlfriend after inviting her to his office late in the evening to discuss her exam. Professor Bonaparte’s own secretary told stories about him also, including him coming into her office to to say things like “I really have to stop dating these 19 year olds.”
I will never forget being a TA in Professor Bonaparte’s course. It was a large lecture, but he clearly had a favorite female student to whom he would ask questions and banter during the lecture. She was smart and cute and excited to be there. One day she sat looking crestfallen, and her demeanor remained this way for the rest of the semester. Their banter stopped. I have always wondered if he did something to her. I believe in my heart that he did. I regret that I did not approach her and ask if everything was ok.
I hope someone finally reports Professor Bonaparte. He is a sick bastard if even a fraction of the rumors about him are true.