UC Santa Cruz professor on leave following claims of sexual harassment, calling student ‘terrorist’

Updated 8:33 am PDT, Sunday, June 2, 2019

A University of California, Santa Cruz professor is under investigation by the school administration.

The university has placed Dimitris Achlioptas on a leave over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Achlioptas is a professor at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering.

The claims were made by two students. One student is Muslim and claims the engineering professor called him a ‘terrorist’ repeatedly. The professor reportedly made sexually charged remarks to another.

When the administration learned of these allegations, they contacted the Title IX and Academic Personnel offices.

The university released this statement about the allegations made against the professor: “The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority, and we treat allegations of misconduct by anyone–faculty, staff, or students-with seriousness and care.”

“It’s disturbing. It’s sad. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of negative threats against Muslims,” said Houciae Ait Ahmed, with the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz Outreach, but is sharing his personal beliefs.

Hearing about these latest allegations of religious discrimination is disappointing for Ait Ahmed.

“It’s never okay to have something like this but from a professor – someone you look up to – someone that our youngsters look as roll models to calling their faces remind us of terrorists or outsiders, I think is very troubling.”

On campus some faculty and students voiced shock.

“I think it’s really disparaging, especially on a campus like this when it’s supposed to be well known for its diversity and inclusivity,” said Sarah Copper, a student.

There is also this from the website Rate My Professors: “This guy is an inspiration. No teacher has ever explained such complicated concepts in such a graspable way. Do not miss Dimitris if you have the chance.”

Achliopatis’ attorney replied to our request for a comment via email: “My client has confidence in the integrity of due process at UCSC, and is confident that he will be exonerated when the investigations end. “

This story originally appeared on KSBW.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/UC-Santa-Cruz-professor-on-leave-13917065.php.

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