A former academic in Ohio who left his job after allegations of sexual misconduct is now teaching at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SHUFE) in China.
Lawrence Mitchell, a former dean at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Law, also changed his name to Ezra Wasserman Mitchell, as seen on a SHUFE faculty page.
The site shows Mitchell’s long list of scholastic publications, including academic and legal work experiences, but dodges mentions of his inappropriate sexual relations with students and other parties.
Mitchell reportedly propositioned students for threesomes, spoke lewd suggestions and made out with them, according to a 2014 feature story of the Cleveland Scene. The outlet quoted one student as saying:
“During the first weeks of school, everybody was talking about how the dean was out, drinking various things, doing various stuff. Maybe you’ve heard this, but one person even has a picture of him making out with this girl. There was this first year orientation event and the dean just shows up with this young chick; he doesn’t even have a pretense, he’s smashed and he’s making out with her.”
Another recalled bumping into him at a local grocery store with a young girl:
“I was like, ‘Oh, cute he’s with his daughter.’ But then he starts making out with her in the meat section.”
Yet another student claimed that he overtly hit on a gay student, the Cleveland Scene reported.
Mitchell resigned from CWRU in 2014 in the middle of a lawsuit filed by Raymond Ku, a former subordinate who accused him similarly and of retaliation after attempts of reporting his behavior to the academic administration.
The suit was backed later by Mitchell’s own assistant, Daniel Dube, who submitted an affidavit after being invited for a threesome with his girlfriend.
SHUFE students, however, have been learning about Mitchell’s past only recently. Amidst the rising #MeToo movement in China, they produced a brochure that details the professor’s controversial past at CWRU, including the name change that he disclosed in 2016.
One student told the Cleveland Scene, “We believe that there should be no room for Lawrence Mitchell to secure any faculty position as he is extremely dangerous to female students.”
Mitchell reportedly started teaching at SHUFE in 2014, concentrating on corporate law and international financial law. A now-defunct article published by the university suggests that he actually accepted a job offer.
“Having Professor Mitchell joining SHUFE will exert a positive impact on the school’s internationalization. Professor Mitchell expressed his gratitude for the school’s kind invitation, saying that he was fond of the work environment here and vowed to fulfill his job and live up to the expectations from the university.”