Organization Management Journal


This two-part case describes a challenging and painful period for James Michaels, a young and openly gay assistant professor of computer science at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. To James’s surprise and disgust, a male student harasses him using a homophobic slur in an e-mail. The case chronicles not only the harassment incident, but also how college administrators and faculty colleagues handle this allegation. James soon finds himself in complete disappointment with the outcome and unsure how to proceed. He perceives that the college administrators, along with some of his colleagues, discount the severity of the harassment incident and in doing so disregard his rights and fail to hold the offending student fully accountable for such policy-violating behavior. Students assigned this case, taking into account James’s perspective, are asked to identify and recommend specific strategies to achieve justice and accountability in this context.