Lawsuits claim UofSC discriminated against women on staff complaining of sexual harassment

Caslen said the tuition freeze is part of an effort to make UofSC accessible to more students.
Caslen said the tuition freeze is part of an effort to make UofSC accessible to more students.(UofSC)
Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 7:27 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two women who taught at the University of South Carolina’s School of Visual Art and Design have filed separate lawsuits against the college and one of its current professors.

The lawsuits, filed in Richland County in late November, claim Professor David Voros sexually harassed them, stalked them on campus and intimidated them.

The women, Jaime Misenheimer and Pamela Bowers, say when they reported Voros to their superiors, the university did not take action and instead discriminated against them based on their sex.

Bowers was previously married to Voros, but they divorced in 2017, one lawsuit states.

UofSC officials wrote off Bowers’ claims of harassment calling it a divorce dispute, her lawsuit claims.

Since the women reported Voros to the university, they say they have both suffered mental distress.

Bowers is currently on leave and Misenheimer has resigned from her position at the college, their lawsuits say.

“The University’s failure to address the sexual harassment and other discriminatory and retaliatory treatment reported by female instructors and students within South Carolina’s School of Visual Art and Design is inexcusable,“ Attorney Elizabeth Bowen, who is representing the women, said.

Another attorney for the plaintiffs, Samantha Albrecht, added: “Unfortunately, this is not our first case against the University related to Defendant Voros’ behavior, and I fear it won’t be our last if the University continues to allow this type of behavior.”

The lawsuits directly accuse UofSC of the following charges:

  • defamation
  • negligent supervision and retention of Voros
  • gender discrimination in violation of Title VII
  • race discrimination in violation of Title VII
  • Title VII retaliation
  • Violation of Title IX
  • Title IX retaliation

They also allege the following against Voros:

  • defamation
  • tortious interference of contractual relations
  • breach of contract

The lawsuits ask for monetary damages.

WIS reached out to UofSC about the lawsuits and a spokesman said they have not been notified of them as of Tuesday night.

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