Architecture instructor Coleman Griffith was placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 20, pending an investigation involving sexual harassment allegations, according to school officials.
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Architecture instructor Coleman Griffith was placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 20, pending an investigation involving sexual harassment allegations, according to school officials.

Both students and teachers complained about Griffith in early December, just before winter break, Senior Vice President Robert Bell said.

“This alleged violation falls under Title 9 of the federal registry,” Bell said. “Which are potential sexual harassment charges. The District is obligated to conduct a thorough and fair investigation.”

In a brief statement to the Courier, Faculty Association President Julie Kiotas said that Griffith “denies the allegations” against him and that no investigation had occurred.

“The faculty is extremely disappointed that Bell would violate confidentiality in personnel matters,” Kiotas said.

Bell said that Griffith had to be placed on administrative leave so that the investigation could be as fair as possible. He also said that the District was using an outside investigation firm.

“My hope and my goal is that the investigation will be done as quickly and as expeditiously as possible,” Bell said. “So when we bring it to closure, we’ll then see the results of the investigation and then reengage with Griffith to see what the next steps are.”

PCC General Counsel Gail Cooper said that she could not comment on the investigation, citing confidentiality. Griffith did not respond to Courier emails requesting comment.

Griffith is the third instructor in the past two years to be accused of sexual misconduct.

Griffith is currently the director of the architecture program and design studio coordinator and has been teaching at PCC for over 25 years.

Former history professor Hugo Schwyzer put himself on leave after sexting messages between him and amateur adult film star Christina Parreira were made public in early August of 2013. He later posted on his blog that he also had sexual relationships with students. Schwyzer resigned on his own, shortly thereafter.

Former Courier adviser Warren Swil, who was also placed on administrative leave in April of 2013, was reinstated after admitting to showing nude pictures of himself to student.

Comments

  1. This faculty member is not particularly active politically, not an outspoken member of the Senate or the Union. This should be seen as a caution to those faculty who think they are “safer” by keeping a low profile. He is an exemplary teacher, and he grew the Architecture Program to a truly professional level. Another caution to colleagues who hope that by “keeping quiet” and “just doing their job well,” that they will be unmolested. It appears that ANY chance to harass faculty WILL be taken.
    The Admin promises to “Move Forward” and “Work Together With Faculty” are –so far– empty gestures. They bear little resemblance to the track record of Miller and the other left-overs of the Rocha Regime.
    Miller embrace Ethics? Don’t hold your breath.

    1. The fact that the charges were ‘acquired’ with a requirement that he step down, while ‘“neither party admits to the truth and merit of the position asserted by the other party or the falsity or lack of merit in the positions asserted by it with respect to any matters existing from or relating to either party’s claims.” (PCC Courier), should say enough. This guy had it coming for a long time; and I can comment from being in his class.

      The Courier also notes that the school is paying $18K “to a search engine optimization firm to perform online reputation management services”. (7/15). Just think what could be done with this money, being used to cover-up a dog.

      “Defamation of Character”? He got the deal of a lifetime to step-down scott-free, while his time to retire had already passed… Calling him an “exemplary teacher” will require some proof, because it is not evidenced in the program he left; the Department could only have improved since his departure. I suspect the fact that he was ‘not particularly active politically’ says nothing about his concerns, and everything about his lack of interest in anything beyond that which effected him directly.

      Question this: Would you attempt to bring charges against the one person who can write you a recommendation for college?

  2. The apology note published in the Feb 5 edition of the Courier from VP Bob Bell is WAY too little too late. Way to ruin a professor’s reputation! Guilty until proven innocent ’round these parts…

  3. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    The administrative “guilty until proven innocent” MO continues. Meanwhile, another instructor has his reputation ruined, and his students’ work upended, on an allegation (NOT an investigation or conclusion; the allegation alone is enough to ruin someone’s career).

    Then, on top of all of the nonsense about preserving the integrity of the investigation, you get a VP revealing the allegation against the instructor in a gross violation of the instructor’s privacy and shattering any notion of integrity.

    My user name was aptly chossn.

  4. In a hypersensitive work environment where men are perceived as mustache-twirling villians, manipulating, with bad intent, clueless women, men should never talk to women unless they either record the conversation or get written agreement as to the nature of their relationship.

  5. 1) Bell violated this professor’s privacy.
    2) No investigation has occurred.
    3) Cooper is still on the job at PCC, in spite of the sexual harassment suit against her.
    So much for Administration “Moving Forward.”

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