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.