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Investigation accuses university employees of bullying and racism

An independent investigation by British legal consultancy Howlett Brown found evidence of bullying, harassment, and racism by employees of the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College London (UCL). A 120-page report released by the company, based on nearly 300 interviews with students, alumni, and staff at the institution, described a “toxic learning and teaching culture” that has been in place for decades. Twenty-four different people complained about one staff member who “misled students about their academic progress, mocked and demeaned students, made sexist remarks, and verbally attacked female students.” Another employee, who held a senior leadership position, was named by 27 respondents for misogyny, anti-Semitism, and prejudice, as well as for covering up inappropriate behavior by his colleagues. Other staff were accused of racism against Chinese students and organizing drug-fueled parties with students.

The names of the employees were not revealed. The school’s administrators announced that all had been removed from student-facing duties as soon as the report was released. Michael Spence, dean of UCL, admitted that “something has gone terribly wrong” at the school, but said he was committed to taking action. “The testimonies expose an inexcusable and pernicious underbelly of bullying and other unacceptable behavior that is completely at odds with the values on which UCL was founded,” he said, according to Times Higher Education.