How not to defend your university’s reputation

Imagine you are a big prestigious university, with a gigantic endowment — about $13 billion at last count. You have 35,000 students. You are almost 270 years old. You are private, so you’re less subject to the whims of the state congress. You are doing great! Then one of your employees, a gynecologist, does this:

Six weeks after giving birth to a daughter, on a Friday in late June 2012, Kanyok returned to Columbia’s suite of offices on East 60th Street for a checkup. She looked idly at her phone as Hadden examined her. He assured her that all looked good, and the nurse chaperoning the exam left the room. Hadden started to follow her out. Then he paused, turned, and told Kanyok that he’d forgotten to check her stitches. He instructed her to lie down again.

Beneath the paper blanket covering her knees, between her legs, the assault this time was unmistakable. Kanyok jolted back and saw Hadden’s face surface, bright red. She froze as he chattered nervously and performed what he told her was a breast exam. She texted her boyfriend. “Dr Hadden just licked my vagina,” she typed. “I’m shaking And freaked out.”

By the way, the breast exam seems to have been a frequent escape hatch for Hadden. These were two-handed, full-on naked fondling sessions, but they served to distract the patient from whatever he’d been doing below the waste.

Another incident:

She says that as she was lying on the examination table, Hadden rubbed his erect penis on her arm. Stunned and shaken, she told a receptionist that Hadden was a pervert. She recalls that the receptionist replied, “I know” and “I’m sorry.”

Now if I were a major university, I’d work fast — I need to protect the reputation of the college! I would fire that guy so fast, with cause, that he wouldn’t even have time to lick the doorknobs on the way out.

Not Columbia University! They were so concerned about their reputation that they buried the incident, all of the incidents, for 20 years. He was out there practicing pervert’s version of gynecology under Columbia’s imprimatur for decades, while the university hid all these abuses over and over. Once a patient called the cops on him, had him arrested, and a few days after he was released from jail, and the university put him back to work licking and fondling young women.

Eventually, the law caught up with this predator. He and the university were prosecuted, and Hadden got a 20 year prison sentence while Columbia was served with a $71.5 million settlement to 79 victims.

So how did that strategy to protect your reputation work out, Columbia?


  1. Paul K says

    Shit. Do we all need to never be alone with anyone at an institution of any kind? Would even that work? Power and prestige are bog, old red flags. Anyone who thinks ‘We need to protect our reputation’ is already in the wrong before anything else happens.

  2. Artor says

    What the actual fuck? “We need to protect our reputation” should mean immediately handing over the pervert to prosecutors, along with any evidence available. This is fucking disgraceful and disgusting.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    birgerjohansson @ # 4: So, this University is connected to the Catholic Church, right?

    Aw c’mon – the US Catholic Church has little interest in protecting sexual molesters – of adults …

  4. says

    I’m so foolish, I thought that colleges and universities were institutions whose main goal was providing an education in intellectually important subjects. Yet, with all these molesters being sheltered and encouraged I see now that they are just as bad as the political and religious institutions when it comes to abusing people. “When you’re famous you can do anything, grab em’ by the curriculum”

  5. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson @ 1, yeah, I agree. We should just take off and nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Columbia U manages to be worse than the awful fictional town Quohag.
    If you are adolescent or older, at least you are safe from mr. Herbert.

  7. jrkrideau says

    IF going into hospital always have a bodyguard.

    (Advice from an author/doctor 30 years ago whom I cannot track down now).

  8. says

    At OHSU these events have prompted the department of womens’ health to inform patients that they have the option to bring along a chaperone to the examining room. It’s mildly surprising that it needed to be said in the first place – and of course the events at Duke took place in spite of the chaperoning nurse. Predators will predate.

  9. says

    I was abused by a medical doctor affiliated with a university. It was a different kind of abuse and it wasn’t nearly as bad as what this dude did, but the self-centered part of my brain goes back to that experience.

    I’m not surprised this happened. I’m more surprised that he’s facing real consequences. I can’t imagine how the victims feel knowing that he finally got caught twenty years later.

  10. wzrd1 says

    My eldest, an RN, was asked to be a proctor. There were many corruption connections going on, enough that she immediately quit, was asked to return and her response was, “Once you address your problems, otherwise, forever no”.
    I imagine that she’ll carry that information forward to when she’s making hiring decisions.

    183231bcb @ 15, my wife was passionately kissed by her OB/GYN, who did utilize significant skills in preserving her life after some medical misadventures.
    Suddenly, I became a Vorlon from hell spectre, with a suggestion of Shadow hell and oh, BTW, a planet killer aimed at your gonads, Doctor.
    Trust me, she was equally protective of me, especially on my blind sides.
    In such matters, I’m beyond not nice and beyond anything objectionable I’ve ever said. It’s both abuse of office, abuse of power, abuse of trust and well, both usually involves two and we’re going into a fistful of abuses of authority.
    As a hint, think eunuch and using a colostomy bag.
    Surgery performed using a battleship’s propellers.
    In a bizarre swimming accident, while doctor was inebriated and I was dining with a judge.
    The latter, actually a trademark on the few occasions where I actually did some harm.

    If all want to review, do look up to a referenced by other commenter’s BBC story of sexual assault and even rape in a fucking operating room, erm, the lot of which violates every notion of sterile procedure, as well as any notion of professionalism.
    Violation of that, well, that deserves a fully equipped Nimitz class aircraft carrier shoved up doctor’s ass – sideways.
    While I’m dining with a judge…
    Or perhaps, a low voltage electrified urinal…
    Really piss me off involves a can of chili and a small room, no judge.

    Which reminds me, I need to go to the store and pick up… Anything, save chili.
    Corned beef, some swiss cheese and 999 island dressing (the Russians blew up the last one (got Three Mile Island jokes aplenty, give it’s physical proximity to me currently))…
    Plenty of kraut to use, once properly rinsed of excess salt with apple cider vinegar, for additional flavor…

    Maybe we should have an infinite thread on recipes…