UW professor accused of running toxic lab that led to student’s suicide to return to campus

UW professor accused of running toxic lab that led to student’s suicide to return to campus

A UW-Madison professor accused of running a toxic lab environment said to have been the reason for a student’s suicide will be returning to campus next year as a faculty member.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, John Brady was a research assistant for Akbar Sayeed’s lab in the College of Engineering. Various graduate students reported that the working conditions under Sayeed’s teaching were both toxic and harmful.

On October 2016, Brady committed suicide.

A message from College of Engineering Dean Ian Robertson said Sayeed was suspended for two years and can return to the campus in January. The message added that Sayeed will not teach during the spring semester but will instead perform administrative duties in the Dean’s Office.

“This assignment will remain in place until the department chair, the provost and I are satisfied that adequate measures are in place to provide oversight of the faculty member as a teacher, mentor and research advisor, as well as to prevent potential harm to students,” said Robertson.

Graduate researchers have petitioned the decision, which currently has over 500 signatures.

In a separate message from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Provost Karl Scholz, the two reenforced how the campus is taking action to prevent hostile and intimidating behavior on campus:

“We all deserve an environment where we’re treated with respect. Each and every one of us on campus has a responsibility to help confront hostile and intimidating behavior.”

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