The Medill Justice Project will offer spring courses despite Klein leave of absence

Mariana Alfaro, In Focus Editor

The Medill Justice Project will continue offering Spring Quarter courses to undergraduate and graduate students after its director, Medill Prof. Alec Klein, took a leave of absence following accusations of harassment and bullying. In a statement to The Daily, Medill Associate Dean Beth Bennett said the school will be “finalizing the faculty for that course over the next few weeks.”

Students enrolled in the Winter Quarter Medill Justice Project course are currently being taught by Medill Profs. Patti Wolter and Peter Slevin.

According to an email sent to Medill undergraduate students by Allisha Azlan, project coordinator for the Medill Justice Project, applications are open for the program’s two-unit spring course. Graduate students can also apply to join the Medill Justice Project in the spring, according to an email sent to students.

The application for the project opens Feb. 19 and will close Feb. 23. Undergraduates will be notified of their selection by Feb. 26.

Earlier this month, 10 former Medill Justice Project students and employees published a letter accusing Klein of sexual harassment and said he displayed “controlling, discriminatory, emotionally and verbally abusive behavior.” The letter, widely circulated online, was sent to Provost Jonathan Holloway and Medill Dean Brad Hamm. A day after the accusations were made public, Klein took a leave of absence while Northwestern investigates the allegations brought up by the 10 women.

Both graduate and undergraduate students can apply to the Medill Justice Project’s spring courses, which offer students a “ hands-on experience surrounding the criminal justice system through investigation, research and reporting on potentially wrongful convictions,” according to the email sent by Azlan.

When the allegations were made public, Klein said in a statement to The Daily that he has “tried to lead The Medill Justice Project with honor.” In a statement sent to The Daily following the letter’s publication, Klein’s lawyer Andrew Miltenberg said Klein “denies the allegations that are being made … (and) intends to respect the confidentiality and privacy of Northwestern University and its internal process.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @marianaa_alfaro