A well-known city university in New York had their dean and an architectural lecturer has been placed under administrative leave by university authorities following allegations that he was guilty of professional misconduct and sexual harassment, as reported by NY Post.
A formal investigation has been launched and is currently underway to determine if there is any evidence and truth to these allegations against the dean. The allegations came from one particular student who claimed the dean made unwanted, repeated sexual advances towards her and would also deliver sexually provocative and lewd comments on a very regular basis.
The dean in question has been identified as 68 year old George Ranali, a forerunner of the Spitzer School of Architecture since almost 15 years now. Ranali has steered and almost single handedly made Spitzer the reputable organization it is today in world architectural education.
Part-time faculty member of architecture school files lawsuit in federal court against Dean
The student claiming that there is more than meets the eye with Ranali has been identified Ariella Campisi. Supposedly, Ranali offered to be a gentleman and drive Campisi home after they had wrapped up a faculty holiday party at the Smoke Jazz and Supper Club two year ago in December 2013. Campisi was a student of architecture but also worked part-time as an assistant at the architecture school so that she could fund her education herself. The complainant was 21 years old when the supposed incident(s) occurred.
Allegations: Dean Ranali groped the plaintiff while they were in his car
Campisi has now filed a civil lawsuit against Ranali through her sexual harassment attorney. The lawsuit alleges that while Ranali was driving the plaintiff back home, they were caught it traffic and were sitting inside Ranail’s car for a good 30 minutes when Ranali blatantly started to rub Campisi’s thigh in a provocative manner.
The defendant indulged in such provocative behavior despite another professor being present in the car, who was being dropped off at their home too. When they got out of the traffic jam and Ranali pulled over to drop off the other professor, Campisi attempted to get off too but Ranali would not allow her and asked to kiss her. This is when Campisi became overcome with disgust and emotion and ran into a nearby restaurant’s washroom and started sobbing uncontrollably.
Later, she reported the incident to university authorities. However, 18 months passed by and no evident action or investigation was initiated. This is when Campisi followed up on her complaint and learned that the authorities had incorrectly reported her account of the evening to the school’s Human Resources Department instead of the Office of Diversity and Compliance.
Wake up Spitzer School of Architecture
Ranali has denied all allegations through his sexual harassment attorney. He is however on administrative leave pending the conclusion of a private, external, and unbiased probe into the matter. Campisi’s lawsuit also accuses the school of architecture itself of treating the incident with indifference as they did not bother to check up on their complaints until 18 months after they were initially lodged and until the plaintiff herself pushed them to do so.