It has now been over four months since the University of New Hampshire (UNH) launched an investigation into a faculty member’s alleged actions on social media.
On Sept. 30, 2020, UNH wrote on Twitter: “We were recently made aware of allegations on social media about a member of our faculty. We are deeply troubled by what we’ve learned so far and immediately launched an investigation.”
There have been no further updates on the investigation via Twitter.
An Oct. 3, 2020, email from President James Dean and Chief Diversity Officer Nadine Petty stated, “Earlier this week the university was made aware of allegations on social media about a member of our faculty. We are deeply troubled by what we’ve learned so far and immediately launched an investigation. While we can tell you the employee at the center of these allegations is on leave and not in the classroom, we are unable to comment further in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We share your concern about the potential impact on our community members. Colleagues around the university are offering support for impacted individuals and we will continue to do so.”
This was their first and only email to the UNH community regarding the investigation.
On Nov. 10, 2020, upon request from The New Hampshire for a statement on the investigation, university spokeswoman Erika Mantz wrote, “The University of New Hampshire is committed to supporting and affirming the dignity of every member of its community as well to the fundamental principles of diversity, inclusion, equity and honest discussion. The scope of this investigation is extensive—multiple interviews and nearly 10,000 unique URLs— and the university is progressing as quickly as possible while still doing its due diligence.”
“While the investigation is still ongoing and there is no additional information we can share, we can confirm that the employee at the center of the allegations remains on leave and is not in the classroom,” wrote Mantz in a Jan. 27 email to The New Hampshire. It was not specified whether the employee is on paid or unpaid leave.
On Oct. 1, 2020, The New Hampshire published a story about Craig Chapman, a white male UNH chemistry professor, who had allegedly posed as a woman of color on Twitter under the handle “piney_the” and the name The Science Femme, Woman in STEM.
The Science Femme bragged of being “successful in removing all the woke terminology from the [department’s] statement, including anti-racism, white supremacy, white privilege and claims to systemic racism,” according to screenshots. The Science Femme trolled other accounts while claiming to be an immigrant woman of color, reposted illicit images of former Rep. Katie Hill, and made transphobic, racist and sexist remarks.
The New Hampshire obtained a compilation of screenshots of tweets from The Science Femme, an internal email from department chair Glen Miller confirming the allegations, and evidence of links between The Science Femme and Chapman.
After publishing our initial story, numerous individuals came forward to The New Hampshire to share the online harassment they’d experienced by The Science Femme.
It is not confirmed at this time if the university’s investigation and the allegations surrounding Chapman are related.
The New Hampshire will continue to follow up with the university for updates regarding this investigation.
Correction: An earlier version of this story’s headline incorrectly implied that the university had confirmed their investigation was regarding allegations surrounding “The Science Femme.” This has NOT been confirmed and we apologize for any confusion this mistake may have caused.