A longtime Harvard University government professor said Tuesday he plans to retire after several women accused him of sexual harassment over a period spanning decades.
Jorge Dominguez, who has been on the Harvard faculty since the 1970s, said in an email to colleagues that he would retire by the end of the semester and immediately step down from administrative duties. He is not teaching this semester.
Dominguez has faced scrutiny in recent days since the Chronicle of Higher Education reported last week on allegations from several women that he had kissed them or touched them inappropriately, or said things that made them uncomfortable. The number of accusers, the Chronicle reported this week, has reached 18.
In 1983, the Chronicle reported, Harvard found Dominguez responsible for "serious misconduct" in a case involving a female professor with less seniority who said he made repeated and unwanted sexual advances. That professor, Terry Karl, eventually left Harvard and became a tenured professor at Stanford University. Dominguez stayed at Harvard and held several significant positions, including vice provost for international affairs from 2006 to 2015.
On Sunday, Harvard announced that Dominguez had been placed on administrative leave while it reviews allegations against him.
"I want to be very clear that Dominguez's forthcoming retirement does not change the full and fair process of review that is currently underway," Michael Smith, dean of Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences, said in a statement Tuesday. "He remains on administrative leave until it is concluded."
Neither Dominguez nor his attorney responded to email and telephone requests for comment.
Karl wrote in an email to The Post: "A quiet retirement is unacceptable. After more than three decades of harassment, the University must carry out a full, fair and transparent investigation of this professor's conduct, and there must be clear and visible consequences. Harvard also owes a transparent explanation for his continued promotion to positions of greater power when the University knew or should have known that his conduct was an abuse of power. This conduct created a hostile environment for decades, affecting women subject to his authority. What is the explanation?"