Medill student files new motion in Title IX case

    The Medill undergraduate student who filed a Title IX lawsuit against Northwestern University for the school's handling of a sexual assault claim filed a new motion in her case Jan. 9.

    Her motion includes new evidence alleging that faculty knew of philosophy Professor Peter Ludlow's history of relationships with his students when he was hired and that Northwestern students had brought a "hostile environment complaint" to the university in 2010 concerning Ludlow, according to court documents.

    The Medill senior's case was dismissed in November by a judge. This is the second time a motion has been filed to reopen the case.

    The new evidence includes testimony from Heidi Lockwood, an associate professor of philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn., from interviews in December and January.

    She contacted the student's lawyers after "speaking with professors and students in the philosophy field who had concerns over Ludlow's sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior toward female students," the motion says.

    According to court documents, Lockwood told the student's attorneys in December that there had been concerns and discussion about Ludlow's dating young female students at Northwestern.

    Lockwood said Sandy Goldberg, the chairman of the department of philosophy at Northwestern, had said "the University ‘instructed’ the faculty not to talk about the issue."

    Lockwood said in her statement that she had been approached by a philosophy graduate student at Northwestern who said several female students brought a “hostile environment complaint” to the philosophy department in 2010.

    Ludlow’s behavior did not change after the complaint and faculty “were afraid to say anything about the issue,” Lockwood said the anonymous graduate student told her.

    The motion also includes new evidence that Northwestern faculty knew about Ludlow’s pattern of dating his female students. He came to his job interview at Northwestern with his girlfriend, a former undergraduate student he had taught, the motion alleges. Faculty emailed about investigating Ludlow’s sexual involvement with students but still hired him, according to court documents.

    Before he was hired at Northwestern, Ludlow worked as a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

    Three faculty members who were on the committee that recommended the university hire Ludlow responded to Lockwood’s testimony on the Daily Nous, a philosophy profession website.

    “We categorically deny that we had knowledge prior to the hiring of Peter Ludlow at Northwestern of any allegations that he had sexual relations of any sort with his students,” said professors Sandy Goldberg, Jennifer Lackey and Baron Reed in the statement.

    “No concern was ever expressed to any of us by anyone that Ludlow engaged in sexual misconduct at his previous institutions (or in other conduct that would pose a threat to our students), nor did we have any reason to think that Ludlow’s past should be investigated further,” they said in the statement.


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