Disruptor 50 Industries: Education

Harvard professor Roland Fryer faces reports of sexual harassment

Key Points
  • Roland G. Fryer Jr. is Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and faculty director of its Education Innovation Laboratory.
  • Fryer received a MacArthur "Genius" fellowship in 2011.
Harvard University professor Roland Fryer speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Sept. 25, 2008.
Ramin Talaie | Corbis Historical | Getty Images

A prominent Harvard University economics professor is being investigated for sexual harassment, according to a new report.

Roland G. Fryer Jr., a 2011 MacArthur "Genius" fellowship recipient, is the one of the latest powerful men to get flagged amid the #MeToo movement, which took hold last year. More than 200 men have lost their jobs or major roles as a result, the New York Times reported last week.

A Harvard investigator found that Fryer was involved in "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature" with four women who worked at Fryer's research lab, the New York Times reported on Friday. The investigator learned that one person who made an accusation about Fryer took disability leave in response to Fryer's behavior, according to the report.

Allegations about Fryer came to light through a report from the Harvard Crimson student newspaper in May, but the Times article provides new details.

One woman who worked in the lab reportedly said that Fryer regularly made inappropriate comments about women, but that his reputation for being vindictive made it difficult for people to speak up. And two women told the investigator they disapproved of how Fryer had put his crotch in the face of a woman at the lab by placing his foot on her desk, the article said.

Read the full article here.