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Irvine professor takes stand against sexual harassment training

November 6, 2008 | 10:50 am


A prominent biologist at the University of California, Irvine, could be placed on unpaid leave because he refuses to take sexual harassment prevention training.

Alexander McPherson, 64, calls the mandatory training a "sham" and considers his refusal an act of "civil disobedience." He has already been relieved of his duties supervising other scientists in the lab where he studies proteins.

McPherson has generated about $20 million in research money since he joined the university in 1997, and has had his experiments aboard the space shuttle and the international space station.

He can attend a training course by Nov. 12 and regain his standing but said he won't, even if it means suspension from his job that pays $148,740 a year.

-- Shelby Grad