Professor sued for sexual harassment to resume teaching at USC


University of South Carolina Professor David Voros

Provided by USC

A professor accused in three lawsuits of sexually harassing a University of South Carolina student and two faculty members will resume teaching at the school in the spring.

Two of those lawsuits against painting professor David Voros are still pending, according to Federal Court documents. A lawsuit was settled for $ 75,000.

“Professor David Voros remains on sabbatical during the fall semester. There are no plans to change the current restrictions that prevent him from coming to campus and engaging in person with students, ”USC spokesman Jeff Stensland said in a statement. “The three spring courses will be taught exclusively online. This will allow him to fulfill his obligations as a faculty member while maintaining a physical separation from the campus. “

The same rules would apply to Robert Richmond, a acting professor accused of sexually harassing a former student / employee, Stensland said. However, Stensland said he didn’t believe Richmond would teach in the spring.

The allegations against Voros and Richmond were reported by the state in a March 12 article that also examined how USC investigated complaints of sexual harassment. Two days after The State’s story was published, USC announced changes to the way it responds to these complaints.

According to screenshots posted online from USC’s Course Catalog, Voros is expected to teach three classes: ARTS 210 (introduction to painting), ARTS 710 (painting), and ARTS 810 (painting). The screenshots show that as of Wednesday afternoon, all potential places in Voros’ classes are still open.

In December 2020, USC announced that Voros would not be teaching classes for the 2021 spring semester, The State previously reported. Critics have likened the punishment to Voros and others accused of sexual harassment to “paid vacation” because they stay on the payroll but are not in the classroom.

In May, USC gave Voros final approval to take sabbatical, a partially paid leave that allows teachers to work on research or projects. Voros’ sabbatical received preliminary approval in early November, when no lawsuit against him was pending.

Several lawsuits have said that Voros and acting USC president Harris Pastides are friends, citing a trip Pastides took to Italy when Voros oversaw a study trip abroad. Pastides, in an affidavit for one of the sexual harassment trials, denied this, saying his relationship with Voros was “no different from that of any other faculty member.”

Voros has been sued once by a former student and twice by colleagues for sexual harassment. The first of those lawsuits, filed in 2018 by former student Allison Dunavant, said Voros subjected her to sexual advances during a study abroad trip to Italy. The Dunavant lawsuit was settled for $ 75,000.

In 2020, Voros’ ex-wife filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, claiming he made sexual advances after their separation and intimidated her by standing at the door of his classroom and waiting near. from his car. On the same day, another former employee filed a complaint accusing Voros of sexual harassment. Both lawsuits are pending in federal court, documents show.

A former student, Lauren Chapman, in an affidavit at a trial and in an interview with The State, also accused Voros of inappropriate behavior, The State reported previously. Chapman didn’t file a complaint because she said she couldn’t afford a lawyer, she told The State in a previous interview.

Lucas Daprile has been covering University of South Carolina and Higher Education since March 2018. Prior to working for The State, he graduated from Ohio University and worked as an investigative reporter at TCPalm in Stuart, Florida. Lucas has received several awards from the SC Press Association, including for education reporting, article series and corporate reporting.
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