Monday, August 28, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 6 

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Harassment suit surprised GSSW associate dean

By Ken Fountain
Daily Cougar Staff

The Graduate School of Social Work associate dean named last week in a sexual harassment suit filed by a GSSW secretary said he thought the complaints had been settled and was surprised the suit was filed.

Cora Day, who served as executive secretary for the GSSW's dean, Ira Colby, filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday claiming Associate Dean Paul Raffoul subjected her to verbal and physical sexual harassment over a period of several months in 1999.

Day claimed when she reported Raffoul's allegedly offensive behavior to Colby, the dean reacted with "brusque indifference" and ultimately re-assigned her to a position of diminished responsibility, threatening her with termination.

On Friday morning, Raffoul expressed "shock" at the lawsuit, saying he believed the dispute with Day was resolved in an investigation by the University's Office of Affirmative Action.

He referred all other questions to the Office of the General Counsel, but the University on Friday upheld its policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

Day was not available for comment on Friday.

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