Photo credit: Greis Torres
By Angel Adegbesan
An adjunct professor who was fired by LaGuardia Community College last year for sexual harassment was still teaching at York College until a New York Post article appeared in mid-October about a federal lawsuit filed against him, according to several sources including court records, the Post article and a York student.
York College officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment about the sudden replacement of Professor Hany Fam, who was teaching Anatomy at York for the first half of the Fall 2018 semester.
Fam was relieved of his teaching duties in November of 2017 at LaGuardia after a student filed a complaint alleging that he had offered her good grades in exchange for sexual favors, according to the Post article.
Wanda Estill, a student at York College who registered for Fam’s Biology 234 Anatomy and Physiology lab class this semester, confirmed that he was replaced without explanation when she showed up for class three days after the Post article appeared.
Estill said that Fam frequently cracked dirty jokes in his class and often made inappropriate comments like “I need alcohol,” during class lectures.
“Most of us (students in the biology lab class) were surprised when we read the article about him,” Estill said.
According to the lawsuit, the LaGuardia student, listed as Jane Doe, was taking an Anatomy course with Fam when she emailed him on Oct. 5, 2017 to request an office-hours meeting. Fam replied by asking for her phone number, then began a series of text messages to arrange a meeting at the student’s apartment.
Fam allegedly showed up at the student’s apartment with a bottle of wine and kissed her when she opened the door, according to the lawsuit. The student said Fam opened his shirt to show him a scar from heart surgery, told her he was lonely and had marital problems, and tried repeatedly to coerce her into drinking wine and holding his hand, which she said she refused to do.
“He asked her why she was so tense, said that he could make things much easier for her, and repeatedly asked if she would be his ‘friend’,” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff asked what he meant and whether he meant sex, and Professor Fam confirmed that he did.”
A spokesperson for LaGuardia told the Post that Fam’s last day at the school was Nov. 7, 2017, the day the student filed her formal complaint.
Fam is also listed as teaching an Anatomy course at Adelphi University this semester, but a spokesperson for that school confirmed that Fam no longer works there either. Adelphi removed Fam from their website’s list of adjunct faculty, while, as of press time, York still had him listed.
Alicia Franqui, York’s Title IX coordinator whose office handles sexual harassment complaints, said she was not aware of any policy requiring individual campuses to report such incidents to other campuses.
A request to CUNY’s media relations office for a comment about University-wide policies was referred back to Marcia Moxam Comrie in York’s office of marketing and communications, who responded via email, “I respect that you’re trying to get answers for your story, but CUNY prefers that these matters get handled on the individual campuses. However, sometimes administrators on the campuses are not allowed to get into the specifics of a situation because of privacy laws, etc.”
Attempts to reach Fam for comment were unsuccessful.