The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) revealed today that it has been working with a University of New Mexico professor named Nick Flor. Flor, who is in his 50s and married, became involved in a romantic exchange of texts and emails with a 30-something grad student who was not in any of his classes and never worked for him. The relationship never became physical but after a couple of months, Flor realized he’d made a mistake and tried to put an end to the exchange.
At that point the grad student began threatening to reveal the exchange to Flor’s boss unless he continued to reply to her frequent messages. Realizing he had no other option but to come clean, Flor went to his school and told them he was being harassed by a grad student who didn’t want to him to end their flirtation. Given the way Title IX investigations on college campuses often work, you probably won’t be shocked to learn that the school’s investigation sided with the grad student. Flor was suspended for a year without pay.
Reason’s Robby Soave published a lengthy piece about the case which outlines how a chance meeting resulted in this outcome. Soave refers to the female grad student as Julia though that’s not her real name. Here’s his description of the moment Julia began making threats to go to Flor’s boss: