Harvard University suspended economist Roland G. Fryer for two years without pay and will close Education Innovation Laboratory, his off-campus research facility, the institution said Wednesday. Fryer, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics, previously resigned from the American Economic Association’s executive committee after The New York Times obtained a Harvard investigation finding that he created a hostile work environment for women, through sexual talk and bullying. A second investigation concluded in similar findings.
The Times reported Wednesday that Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, told Harvard’s economics department via email that Fryer will not be able to take on advising or supervisory roles and his teaching will be limited upon his return. Gay reportedly said that she’ll revisit those restrictions after two more years. Fryer, who has publicly apologized for offending anyone with his humor but defended his lab as a place where women excelled, said in a new statement that “I am deeply disappointed, particularly because the important and outstanding work of my colleagues in our economics research lab has been forced to stop.” Harvard “has spoken,” he said. “In due course, I will as well.”