March 10th, 2015
Since the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in December cut ties with him over its finding that he had engaged in online sexual harassment, former physics professor Walter H. G. Lewin has focused on his legacy, not litigation.
Lewin, who turned 79 in January, still personally challenges the harassment claims brought to M.I.T. by a learner in a massive open online course he taught in fall 2013 but is not preparing to challenge the institute, according to an e-mail he sent to a former fan. Lewin is instead working to make sure his video lectures live on, in some cases asking fans to compile and share the clips on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
The institute in December stripped Lewin of his emeritus title and removed his lectures from M.I.T. OpenCourseWare, a repository of free educational content, to "help prevent further harassment." M.I.T. justified the removal by saying the courses “presented a [real] danger for people... expecting a student-teacher relationship and getting something that was inappropriate.”