Posted on 06/19/2018 at 08:32 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

MIT has cleared Junot Diaz to return to teach this fall, the university said in a statement Monday.

The Boston Globe reports that the university began investigating the author, who has won a Pulitzer and is a New York Times best-seller, in May.

That same month, several women began to speak out against Diaz, with one saying he had “forcibly” kissed her and others saying he had been verbally abusive.

Author Monica Byrne, one of those who reported the verbal abuse, told the Globe that the head of MIT’s writing program requested that she send any complaints about Diaz to its Title IX office.

“I told them, look, I have thirty-eight tips, stories, accounts ... and they’re, like, ‘Well, if you hear from any MIT students, let us know,’ ” she told the paper.

Diaz has taught creative writing at MIT since 2003.

The university said in a statement: “To date, MIT has not found or received information that would lead us to take any action to restrict Professor Diaz in his role as an MIT faculty member, and we expect him to teach next academic year, as scheduled. This is the extent of public comment and information available on this personnel matter.’’

Diaz has dealt with significant fallout from the allegations. 

He stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board, which was to undertake a review of the claims, and withdrew from the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Additionally, this past month, three editors at the Boston Review resigned over the magazine’s continued association with Diaz.

Diaz did not respond to Monday’s news from MIT, but in May, following the accusations, he gave the following statement to The New York Times through his agent:

“I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my (childhood) rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue. I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries.”

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Scandal

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