August 9, 2016

UNM suspends professor (again) over new complaints

The University of New Mexico again suspended an Anthropology professor over sexual harassment allegations.

UNMThe school made the announcement about the suspension of the professor, Cristobal Valencia, late Tuesday afternoon, less than a week after the Albuquerque Journal reported Valencia would be reinstated from a suspension involving sexual harassment.

Valencia was suspended from late March to June, reported the Journal.

A spokeswoman for UNM said the new “emergency suspension” came as a result of “new information.”

“Effective immediately, Valencia is suspended from all academic duties associated with his faculty appointment, including teaching, research and service,” UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said in a statement. “The suspension will remain in place while the new complaints are investigated by the appropriate authorities, or until the case is resolved.”

Valencia was previously suspended and censured after an investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

The Journal article from last week quoted Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico director May Sagbakken as saying this would be “terrifying” to victims at UNM.

UNM did not provide details about the new allegations.

“His suspension is an emergency short-term action taken as a precaution to prevent any risk of harm to others, and was based upon the seriousness of the allegations,” Anderson said. “However, it is important to note that no additional action will be taken unless the investigators can confirm the new allegations.”

The documents given to the Journal last week were “heavily redacted.”