Former physics professor files a job action against the college

Associate Professor Andrew Kortyna—who left the college on Mar. 31 under unclear circumstances—filed complaints regarding Lafayette College’s decision to terminate his employment, according to his attorneys.

“We are presently mounting a legal challenge to the College’s decision to terminate Dr. Kortyna’s employment,” Kortyna’s lawyer, Sidney Gold, wrote in a letter to The Lafayette. “We have filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We intend to file a Civil Action Complaint in federal court.”

“Because this matter is presently being litigated,” Gold continued, “we are not at liberty to comment further at this time.”

President Alison Byerly declined to comment on litigation or personnel matters.

After The Lafayette published a story last week on Kortyna’s departure from the college, Byerly confirmed that Kortyna was accused of sexual harassment by two students. Those cases were brought to a hearing, she said, and it took over a year for them to be resolved. Byerly said the cases were resolved this spring.

The outcome of the sexual harassment hearing is unknown to The Lafayette.

The chair of the hearing committee declined comment.

Kortyna could not be reached for comment in time for deadline.

The hearings began in Mar. 2014. The Lafayette previously reported that, according to court documents, an emotional breakdown by Kortyna resulted in the hearings being suspended temporarily.

He filed suit against the college in April 2014, according to court records, because his request to have a lawyer represent him at the college’s hearings was denied. He also filed suit against Former Provost Wendy Hill for intentional emotional distress.

In Sept. 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel dismissed the lawsuit against the college and Kortyna withdrew his legal action against Hill.

At this point, there is no public record for what happened between when the hearings began in Mar. 2014 and when the hearing was resolved this spring.

Kortyna taught at the college for 14 years.

 

About William Gordon

William Gordon '17 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. He writes about student government, law, financial aid and music. He's studying English and government & law with a minor in economics.

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