Paul L. Caron

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tenured Professor by Day, Phone-Sex Dominatrix by Night

Chavez Chronicle of Higher Education, In Professor-Dominatrix Scandal, U. of New Mexico Feels the Pain:

In some ways, working as a phone-sex dominatrix is a lot simpler than being on a college faculty. Your relationship with others is clearly defined, no one formally complains about anything you say to them, and you stand little risk of getting caught up in messy struggles over power.

It gets complicated, however, if you try to do both jobs.

Life has become extremely complex in the University of New Mexico's English department in the three years since Lisa D. Chávez, a tenured associate professor, was discovered moonlighting as the phone-sex dominatrix "Mistress Jade," and posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students.

Although she quickly quit the phone-sex job, admitted to a serious lapse of judgment, and was not found by the university's administration to have violated any law or policy, Ms. Chávez remains at the center of a bitter controversy that has raised questions about faculty governance, the obligations of professors to protect students, and the exact definition of a hostile workplace in an environment of shifting sexual mores.

Several members of the English department accuse Ms. Chávez of abusing her power over students, and allege that the administration retaliated against professors who complained about her extracurricular activities. They also say that the university administration violated a basic principle of shared governance by not entrusting the investigation of Ms. Chávez to a faculty ethics committee.

For her part, Ms. Chávez has accused her accusers, in complaints to the university and the state, of discriminating against her because she is bisexual and Hispanic.

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Up to the bit about "posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students," the only potential problem I saw was whether there were restrictions on her taking second jobs.

Posted by: dWj | Sep 19, 2010 4:45:19 PM

As an experienced dominatrix, she should get out of teaching and go into the IRS collection division carrying her whips and chains with her.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 19, 2010 1:08:37 PM

I feel quite certain in saying than no male professor has ever taken advantage of female students, and that all who have done so have invariably been punished just as soon as the offense was discovered. I also have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn for sale, needs paint but otherwise mint condition, no reasonable offer refused.

Posted by: mike livingston | Sep 19, 2010 9:37:43 AM