A fired SUNY Plattsburgh professor claims his nearly two decades long employment at the university was tainted by anti-male bias and racial discrimination.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Dr. J.W. Wiley also accuses the university’s president John Ettling, a faculty member, a student and the SUNY Plattsburgh Student Association of aiding and abetting race and gender discrimination.
Dr. Wiley, who is black, was hired at the university in 2000 and was serving as Chief Diversity Officer when he was terminated in June, he says, without explanation.
A Title IX investigation into sexual harassment allegations dating back to 2004 was conducted “in an environment tainted by anti-male sex bias generated by the SUNY Plattsburgh [Gender and Women’s Studies] Department,” the lawsuit alleges.
“While we cannot comment on the details of a matter in litigation, these are baseless allegations and we stand by the actions we took that were necessary to protect our students,” said Ken Knelly, a spokesperson for SUNY Plattsburgh.
The lawsuit claims faculty members worked “in tandem to undermine his reputation by labeling him, based on his race and gender, with the historically and statistically inaccurate, yet destructive, stereotype and behavior perpetrating the ‘Myth of the Black Rapist’.”
In one instance, Dr. Wiley describes complaints filed against him after he showed a film clip during his course “Romance, Sex, Love & Marriage.”
Two students claimed that the use of the clip made them “question whether Dr. Wiley would ‘find any fault with pressuring his current female students to have sex with him,” according to the lawsuit.
Dr. Wiley denies all allegations made against him.
He is asking a federal judge to reinstate him with wages lost “by reason of defendants’ unlawful actions in an amount to be proven at trial,” among other relief requests.