Sexual Harassment Claims, Lawsuits Cast Cloud Over Southern

Officials at Southern University say they are reviewing a number of sexual harassment complaints filed by students, who alleged that the university botched handling cases through judicial review and discipline.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports on the internal investigation, the details of which Southern officials say they cannot reveal because of student privacy laws, and attorney-client privilege created by the university assigning the review to system counsel Winston DeCuir Jr.

The investigation follows ongoing controversy surrounding the university, which was sued by former student affairs vice-chancellor Brandon Dumas earlier this month after system supervisors voted to fire him after the release of a sex tape alleged to feature Dr. Dumas and a former student.

The former student denies that it was Dr. Dumas, who has not made a public comment about the video.

Southern legal counsel contends that the board voted appropriately in Dr. Dumas’ dismissal. 

Southern faces two public information lawsuits from the Advocate and local broadcast news network WBRZ, for refusing to release internal documents connected to a review of a faculty member alleged to have committed fraud in the drafting of a will for an elderly Baton Rouge resident.

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