In early April, Daily Report detailed the case of Niranjan Baisakh, a researcher at the LSU AgCenter, who was accused in 2016 of stalking, sexual harassment and sexual assault by a female graduate student. Following a Title IX investigation by the university, which found the allegations to be credible, Baisakh was prohibited from working directly with graduate students and his academic tenure was “paused” for at least three years, a highly unorthodox disciplinary action.
Yet, in March 2020, just three years later, his tenure was reinstated and he was again allowed to work with graduate assistants—at least until Daily Report filed a public records request seeking information about the case.
In May, Daily Report uncovered the case of another researcher at the AgCenter, Magdi Selim, who also was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct under Title IX, though in his case the victim, who allegedly was sexually harassed and threatened, was an AgCenter employee, not a student.
Again, the sanctions appear to have been lenient: Selim, since deceased, was allowed to retire rather than face involuntary termination, which would have inevitably tarnished his reputation and stripped him of the many perks retired faculty enjoy.
The two AgCenter cases have attracted far less attention than the recent higher-profile Title IX scandals within the athletics department.
But the Baisakh and Selim cases are significant because they raise questions about the way things are done at the LSU AgCenter, which sits smack in the center of the main LSU campus in Baton Rouge but is its own separate institution, as independent as the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans or the LSU-Shreveport campus 250 miles away.
Read the full story about the AgCenter’s handling of Title IX violations from the latest edition of Business Report.