Sexual harassment gained attention at the university in December 2014, when the administration said it was removing the online lectures and courses of a retired faculty member, Walter Lewin, after he was found to have violated MIT's policies on online sex harassment.
In January 2014, the student newspaper published an anonymous account of sexual assault that was written by an MIT graduate. The author stated that she had been raped by an older colleague within her research group.
The complainant in Mr. Lewin's case spoke publicly to Inside Higher Ed for an article published in January 2015. She was a student in one of Mr. Lewin's courses on MIT's platform for massive open online courses, known as MITx. Inside Higher Ed reported in March 2015 that interest in Mr. Lewin's online lectures remained high, despite MIT's efforts to delete them from its own platforms.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, and taken steps to improve its policies, including conducting a climate survey on sexual misconduct. In that survey, 32 percent of female undergraduates who responded said they had experienced an unwanted sexual behavior. Some of the university's recent steps to strengthen its policies are described here.
MIT has removed the lectures of a retired faculty member from a popular online learning platform after determining that he had sexually harassed a woman on the Internet, the school's News Office announced Monday.
Incoming MIT students, faculty, and staff will undergo mandatory training in the fall designed to prevent sexual violence, as the school explores strategies to combat a problem drawing heightened scrutiny at colleges across the country.