The University of Washington has for the first time fired a tenured professor, Buzzfeed News reports.
Michael Katze, a tenured professor there, was fired earlier this week for "conduct counter to the core values" of the school, according to the Seattle Times. His termination also follows an 18-month investigation into sexual harassment and fund misuse claims made against him, Buzzfeed News adds. Some seven complaints had been made against Katze in the past 10 years, it notes, including that he watched porn and was intoxicated in the lab.
A January 2016 investigation by UW found that Katze violated the school's sexual harassment policy with two employees, including by making sexual demands on one and asking another to find him an escort and buy him drugs, according to Buzzfeed News. An investigation conducted by the medical school also found that he misused school funds. Katze's lab was shuttered in April 2016.
A faculty adjudication panel had been deliberating since February 2016 whether or not to terminate his tenured professor position, Buzzfeed News says. After an appeal by Katze, University President Ana Mari Cauce approved the panel's decision to fire him.
"The investigation and adjudication process is designed to ensure thorough consideration before a conclusion is reached," Victor Balta, a university spokesperson, tells the Seattle Times. "It was just such a process that led to the termination of Dr. Katze, and this action upholds our commitment to a safe workplace for all employees."