MIT investigation clears Pulitzer-Prize winning author Junot Diaz of sexual misconduct charges

FP Staff

Jun,19 2018 13:57:16 IST

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigation cleared Pulitzer Prize-winning author and creative writing professor Junot Diaz to return to the classroom this fall.

Junot Diaz/Image from Twitter.

Junot Diaz/Image from Twitter.

The inquiry into Diaz's actions toward female students and staff yielded no information that would lead to restrictions on Diaz's role as a faculty member at the university in Cambridge.

Melissa Nobles, dean of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and Edward Schiappa, section head for Comparative Media Studies/Writing, where Diaz is based, were involved in the internal investigation. They reached out to current students he had taught and had extensive conversations with Diaz and other professors.

"To date, MIT has not found or received information that would lead us to take any action to restrict Professor Diaz in his role as an MIT faculty member, and we expect him to teach next academic year, as scheduled," said Kimberly Allen, director of media relations.

Authors Zinzi Clemmons, Carmen Maria Machado and other female writers recently shared stories of Diaz's behavior. Clemmons said Diaz forcibly kissed her several years ago; others cited instances when they felt he had verbally attacked them. Diaz has said he takes responsibility for his past actions.

Diaz has not commented on MIT's decision, but his agent said she is pleased with the outcome.

Diaz had won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction in 2008 for his book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He had also shared an essay of facing sexual abuse as a child and how that trauma had affected his adult life in The New Yorker.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 14:00 PM