Northwestern Professor Cancels Class Ahead of Planned Protest

Students planned to converge upon Peter Ludlow's 12:30 p.m. class before walking out together at 1 p.m.

A Northwestern University professor abruptly canceled a Tuesday afternoon class ahead of a planned sit-in protest by students.

Students had planned to sit in philosophy professor Peter Ludlow's 12:30 class with signs protesting his presence on campus before walking out en masse at 1 p.m.

Ludlow and the school both face lawsuits filed by a current student who alleges she was sexually harassed by the professor two years ago.

University officials said they took disciplinary action against Ludlow and advised him to not have any one-on-one contact with other students but did not remove him from his teaching duties.

Students met Monday night to discuss the university's response to campus sexual violence.

"We protest the University's decision to continue to employ Ludlow and allow him to teach classes, despite University investigations finding that he violated their sexual harassment policy by sexually harassing an undergraduate student," read a statement on a Facebook event advertising Tuesday's planned protest.

The student accuser, now a Northwestern junior, alleges Ludlow plied her with alcohol, kissed and fondled her against her wishes during an outing to an art event in downtown Chicago in February 2012.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, the woman said at one point she woke up in an elevator en route to Ludlow’s apartment, where he told her it was “inevitable” that they would have sex. The woman alleges she finally convinced Ludlow to take her home, but only after she woke up in his bed, her clothes askew.

The woman does not allege an actual sexual act, but alleges that Ludlow told her he had "slept with students before when he was at other schools."

Through his attorney, Ludlow has denied wrongdoing and said it was the young woman who was the aggressor. He is a candidate for a teaching position at Rutgers University, but a spokesman said his hiring there is under review, pending an investigation of the Illinois allegations.

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