Marsh Plaza on the Boston University campus

Henry Zbyszynski/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Boston University rejects geologist David Marchant’s appeal of termination

Boston University (BU) has denied geologist David Marchant’s appeal of its decision to terminate him, the Massachusetts-based institution announced yesterday. Late last year, the university moved to fire Marchant after an investigation concluded that he sexually harassed a graduate student during fieldwork in Antarctica nearly 2 decades ago.

Marchant has not yet exhausted all options in attempting to save his job. Marchant “has the right to have a faculty committee determine whether termination is the appropriate sanction, and the timing of the initiation of that committee’s work is being determined,” BU spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in a 27 February email.

Riley said that Marchant remains on paid administrative leave. He declined to identify who at the university denied the appeal, or when and on what grounds the decision was made.

Marchant and his lawyer, Jeffrey Sankey, did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

One member of the department where Marchant was chair until last fall welcomed the decision. “Although it has taken a while to get to this point, I am pleased that BU has taken decisive action,” says marine biogeochemist Richard Murray, former chair of the university’s Department of Earth and Environment. “It seems to me that it’s appropriate action, given what I have read about the incidents in the media.”