In a unanimous vote, the Columbia University Senate has voted to address institutional failures in allowing Dr. Robert Hadden, a former Columbia University Irving Medical Center gynecologist convicted of sexual abuse, with 64 votes in favor, zero opposed, and zero abstentions.
The vote is a good indication that the hallowed university realizes the gravity of its failure in allowing Dr. Hadden his predatory access to young women.
Dr. Hadden’s Criminal Convictions
Hadden was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping women. Judge Richard Berman noted that at least 245 women had reported being abused by Hadden, saying he’d never before seen a case like this one, which involved “outrageous, horrific, beyond extraordinary, depraved sexual abuse.”
Three Demands of the University
The resolution, which contains three demands for Columbia, states that the University Senate is “distressed” by the actions of medical center leadership in response to the University’s handling of the Hadden case and called its lack of a quick response “beyond troubling”.
“What we are now learning of these events—to the extent that press reports are accurate— has shaken our community to the core and has done real damage to Columbia’s reputation and to our trust and faith in our own institution,” the resolution reads.
Leaders Must Be Held Accountable
The Senate resolution’s first demand calls for Columbia to “assume responsibility for these terrible events” and hold accountable those who were in positions of authority during Hadden’s time.
External Review and Report of Failures
The second is to hire an external law firm who will review “report in detail how this failure of oversight and accountability happened” and recommend concrete measures to prevent future recurrence. The external law firm would provide a report to Shafik and the Board of Trustees, who would share a summary and recommendations to the University Senate, according to the resolution. The University Senate would then present the findings to the plenary and public.
Ensuring Proper Oversight
The third demand pushes the University to establish more oversight of the faculty and staff at the medical center and implement procedures to ensure proper oversight.
Seek Justice for Sexual Abuse
If you or a loved one were abused by Dr. Hadden, please contact me, Thomas P. Giuffra, for an initial evaluation of your case.