Update on Gary Urton

Harvard issues its decision on Gary Urton and the charges of sexual misconduct. He was found guilty. Oh, if they only knew it all. I think they have chosen not to. I suggest reading Becky Cooper’s book, We Keep the Dead Close, for more information about this man.


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Dear members of the Anthropology Department, Dumbarton Oaks, and Peabody Museum colleagues,
I am writing to inform you of upcoming changes within the Department of Anthropology that will occur as a result of disciplinary actions being taken regarding Dr. Gary Urton. As these changes directly impact the members of the Department, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Peabody Museum, I describe them here, as well as the findings that motivated them.
The Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) recently completed a thorough and careful review of formal allegations made against Dr. Urton and concluded that he engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct and abused power with individuals over whom he had professional responsibility. Additionally, he engaged in persistent sexual harassment of a member of the community, interfering with that individual’s ability to engage in FAS educational programs and activities.  Moreover, ODR found that Dr. Urton provided materially misleading information in the course of its investigation, conduct that had the potential of subverting the integrity of the University’s investigatory processes. The ODR review documented behavior that was in violation of FAS policies on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and unprofessional conduct. In short, Dr. Urton exhibited a pattern of behavior that betrayed the trust of our community and violated our fundamental institutional values.
Given the gravity of these findings, the following sanctions have been levied against Dr. Urton:
As of June 10, 2021, Dr. Urton has been stripped of his emeritus appointment.
All rights and privileges customarily conferred by the FAS on faculty who hold emeritus appointments, as listed in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook, have been revoked, including:

  1. He may not hold the title of emeritus Professor or Research Professor
  2. He may not teach any undergraduate students or GSAS students
  3. He may not advise any GSAS graduate students
  4. He will not have any Library privileges
  5. He will not have a Harvard email address or access to IT services through the FAS
  6. He will not have any office space within the FAS
  7. He will not be allowed to raise funds through the FAS, nor will he have any access to any research funding through the FAS
  8. He will not have access to any administrative support
  9. He will not be allowed to attend FAS Faculty Meetings as a guest or in any other capacity
  10. And he will not receive any FAS mailings to the community.

Dr. Urton is no longer welcome on any part of the FAS campus or to attend any FAS-sponsored events held off campus. In addition, the President has agreed to place the same sanction on the entire Harvard campus and on all Harvard-sponsored events.
The sanctions described above are proportionate to the severity of the behavior observed and seek to uphold and further our shared community standards and the safe, fair, and respectful environment necessary to promote academic excellence. I remind all members of our community that if you witness or experience sexual or gender-based harassment, there are many resources available, including the FAS Title IX Coordinators, the University Office for Gender EquityHarvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, the Harvard Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program.
Claudine Gay

Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

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