PCRC Recommends Colás’ Termination

Former Professor of English Santiago (Yago) Colás resigned this summer following a unanimous recommendation by a panel of the Professional Conduct Review Committee that he be terminated. The five-person panel reached its recommendation after evaluating conduct that was judged to violate the sexual harassment portion of College policy and the professional ethics and conduct policy of the Faculty Guide.

The allegations against Colás concerned Facebook messages sent by Colás to the Reporting Party. The hearing panel determined that the messages constituted an act of sexual harassment.

“We saw no reasonable alternatives that could support the Responding Party’s argument that the messages were not sexual harassment,” read part of the report, which was submitted to the Office of the President on May 28, 2019. “Given our primary concern for protecting students, we are unanimous in our decision that termination is the appropriate outcome.”

This fall, Colás had been scheduled to teach two sections of his course, ENGL 167: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Sports, in addition to a first-year seminar titled Writing the Sporting Body. His classes focused on the intersections of sports and society. Colás was known on campus for sponsoring a series of discussions focusing on perceived social divides between athletes and non-athletes.

“We in the English Dept. are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience to you as a student enrolled in one of the sections of this course,” wrote Associate Professor and Chair of English Gillian Johns in an Aug. 15 email to students enrolled in ENGL 167.

At the time of his resignation, Colás was also an assistant coach for the men’s varsity basketball team.

Students can seek support and report allegations of sexual harassment by contacting the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.