Article by Khetam Malkawi; JordanTimes
UJ says dean dismissal ‘unrelated’ to sexual harassment video; Quawas disagrees
AMMAN — The University of Jordan (UJ) has denied news reports stating that its administration dismissed the dean of the foreign languages faculty over a video produced by her students, while the dean insisted that “this was the only reason”.
Some news reports published recently said that Rula Quawas was dismissed from her position as dean of the faculty of foreign languages one year before the end of her contract after producing a video on sexual harassment on the UJ campus.
The UJ administration told The Jordan Times that there was no link between the video, which was produced last December, and the removal of Quawas as dean two months ago.
“The decision was administrative, and there is no connection between it and the movie she produced,” UJ President Ekhleif Tarawneh told The Jordan Times recently.
He explained that Quawas was removed from her post along with 11 other deans in other faculties before they ended their first term, and even “the dean that she [Quawas] replaced was dismissed before ending his contract”.
Tarawneh said that “it is normal to change deans and other members of the university’s administration before the end of their contracts based on the university’s regulations”.
Although Quawas acknowledged that the administration did not directly link her dismissal to the video, she said: “All indications prove this.”
The professor of American literature and feminism noted that she received a phone call from the UJ vice president in June asking her about the video which was uploaded on YouTube.
“The film was produced in December last year as part of a course project, but it was only aired on YouTube in June this year,” Quawas told The Jordan Times over the phone this week, adding that when she received the call from the vice president, “he was angry, and told me that the video has harmed the university’s reputation”.
“I can do anything within the framework of my job… this is how I replied to him,” Quawas said.
She added that the other dismissed deans were heads of UJ institutes that were dissolved.
The video was produced by a group of Quawas’ students as a project for the feminism theory class. It addresses sexual harassment experienced by female students on campus.
But Tarawneh insisted that the video was not the reason, “thus, she is still teaching the same subject [feminism theory]”.
However, he noted that the administration received complaints against Quawas’ management methods.
The president added that UJ is genuinely committed to the freedom of research and expression and enhancing those values in its learning environment.