SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. G. E. Ghali is on temporary administrative leave, one day after four EEOC complaints were reportedly filed against the hospital amid criticism of his handling of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations.
“We have been informed that notices of retaliation, gender and race discrimination are being filed against LSU Health Shreveport,” the hospital said in a statement Monday night. “The institution has investigated every complaint to date and taken appropriate actions. LSU Health Shreveport stands ready to defend itself against these latest allegations.”
Both LSU Health Shreveport and Ghali himself have now said in separate statements that a Title IX review of the same allegations wrapped up last week and that the investigation “did not find sufficient evidence to support any Title IX concern.”
Still, Ghali says he has agreed to go on leave until a review of the latest complaints can be completed.
“LSU Health Shreveport, under my guidance, will always lead by example and operate at the highest standards,” Ghali said in his statement Tuesday. “Restoring trust in Louisiana’s flagship university system should be a priority for every leader. I am confident in a positive outcome of any subsequent review. Still, considering the current system-wide controversy at LSU, I agreed to take a temporary administrative leave of absence during this review and return to campus upon its completion.”
Four complaints were filed Monday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, news outlets reported. They allege that a former administrator spoke inappropriately to and touched 16 female medical students and that the head of admissions made female students write book reports on pornographic stories, according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge.
Both were close to Ghali and retired soon after the allegations were made, the newspaper reported.
But the complaints allege that two professors were denied promotions and a third was demoted and became the target of an official investigation because they supported the students.
The federal complaints comes as LSU grapples with a system-wide Title IX scandal.
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money.
A Title IX review was prompted by an independent report that determined LSU for years mishandled its response to student allegations of rape, domestic violence and assault, in some instances ignoring the claims entirely.
Former football coach Les Miles was pushed out of his coaching job at Kansas after the report detailed allegations of inappropriate behavior with students during his tenure at LSU. Ex-LSU System President F. King Alexander resigned from his job leading Oregon State because of his role in the mishandling of sexual misconduct cases at LSU. Current head coach Ed Orgeron has also come under fire for allegedly ignoring a sexual harassment complaint against one of his star players.
Ghali, a renowned oral and maxillofacial surgeon, took over the chancellorship of LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport in 2016. The LSU Board of Supervisors approved a two-year contract extension for him in 2019.
David Lewis, Dean of School of Medicine, Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology, will serve as Acting Chancellor while Ghali is on leave, according to a memo sent to the LSU Health Shreveport community Tuesday from LSU Interim President Tom Galligan.
“I am grateful for his willingness to lead through this period,” Galligan said.
“I understand that this is a stressful and challenging situation, but I am confident in your ability to continue your great work under these circumstances.”