• Lehigh University
    Lehigh University
  • Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Prof. Bayak was accused in November 2016 of making discriminatory comments at both Lehigh and Lafayette Universities, both of whom have since begun investigations into the matter. According to one former student who made a complaint to Lehigh administrators, Bayak boasted that he had won a bet that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election, and then turned to an Indian-American student asking him how late he had stayed up watching the election as his eyes “looked like slits.” He then turned to the complainant, who he knew was of Mexican descent, and asked him “What about you? Are you staying or are you going back to your country?” Furthermore, the student argued that bayak had a reputation of making discriminatory comments to students, and that they were never directed towards white students.[1]

Former students of Bayak’s have also alleged that he creates a hostile environment for women. On the first day of class Bayak allegedly asked female students “why are you at this institution? Ladies, why do you go to college?” When no one responded, Bayak apparently answered for them, “to get a husband.”[2] Bayak was also arrested in 2014 for driving while intoxicated.[3]

[1] Jazwinska, K. (Dec. 30, 2016). Adjunct accounting professor under investigation for discriminatory comments in class. The Brown and White. Retrieved from http://thebrownandwhite.com/2016/11/11/adjunct-accounting-lehigh-discrimination/

[2] Tropp, G. (Nov. 18, 2016). Professor under investigation for offensive comments. The Lafayette. Retrieved from https://www.lafayettestudentnews.com/blog/2016/11/18/professor-under-investigation-for-offensive-comments/

[3] The Press. (Oct. 30, 2014). Bethlehem Press. Retrieved from http://bethlehem.thelehighvalleypress.com/2014/10/30/duis

Hostile Environment for Students | 2017

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Departmental Contact

Shin-Yi Chou, Chair of the Economics Department at Lehigh; is James DeVault, Economics Department Head at Lafayette

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