Law firm reviews College of Education and Human Development’s leadership

Temple hired Stradley Ronon to investigate the college after complaints from faculty about Dean Gregory Anderson.

People walk past the College of Education on Aug. 19, 2020. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:19 p.m.

Temple University hired Stradley Ronon, a Philadelphia-based law firm, to conduct a review of the culture and climate of the College of Education and Human Development after half of the 70 full-time faculty in the college signed a letter in July 2020 raising issues with Dean Gregory Anderson’s leadership, including his removal of the urban education master’s program, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“I am aware of the review involving Temple personnel and embrace it because I believe in transparency,” Anderson wrote in a statement emailed to The Temple News. “As a Black academic whose research focuses on access and equity, I am particularly committed to accountability. For this reason, I’ve been an active participant in the review.”

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a sociology professor, sent a memo to the university’s provost in August 2019 outlining “hostile behavior” from Anderson and asking for a transfer to another college in the university, which was granted, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In 2016, Aneta Pavlenko lost tenure when she left the university after Anderson allegedly tried to assign her to more courses and to courses she wasn’t qualified to teach, as retaliation for sharing an email with graduate students about discontinuing graduate assistantships, the Inquirer reported

“The administration was aware of the problem from the start, including from my own official complaint and e-mails, and chose to do nothing and pretend the hostile workplace environment is not happening,” Pavlenko wrote in an email to The Temple News. “I have no reason to believe this time will be any different.”

Other faculty members also described bullying, harassment and intimidation from Anderson, the Inquirer reported

“We take all concerns seriously,” wrote Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News. “As needed, we routinely call in outside firms to help with the reviews.”

Goldrick-Rab did not respond to The Temple News’ request for comment. 

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