NEW YORK – An 11-month Title IX investigation headed by NYU’s Office of Equal Opportunity found Professor of German and Comparative Literature Avital Ronell responsible for “inappropriate physical contact” and sending sexual texts to former graduate student Nimrod Reitman. Ronell has been suspended for the upcoming academic year for the policy violations.
Ronell — a leading feminist scholar — was Reitman’s doctoral advisor. In the report, he alleges that over the course of three years, starting in the spring of 2012, the professor nonconsensually touched his body and kissed his cheeks and lips on many occasions. On one occasion before he officially began his doctorate program, Reitman alleged that in Ronell’s apartment in Paris, she “… touched his crotch over his clothes, with her buttocks, by pushing her body into his.” Among descriptions of similar encounters, he said Ronell made him lie in her bed, refused to work with him if he did not reciprocate and emailed and called him constantly.
Reitman also alleged that Ronell stalked him, sexually assaulted him and retaliated against Reitman by negatively impacting his professional career. NYU’s report did not find sufficient evidence to deem Professor Ronell guilty of those claims, according to the investigation report that follows the complaint Reitman filed in 2017, two years after graduating.