Reed Students, Faculty, and Staff:
As you may have read or heard, I am leaving my teaching position at Reed College effective January 6, 2023. I want to thank the investigating committee (IC) for its thorough review of the facts and ultimately concluding I did not violate Reed College’s Policy or the Faculty Constitution.
Over the last few months, I’ve been living with intense shame and regret from an event I – still to this day – do not remember. There is no excuse to ever engage in offensive or discriminatory behavior and I accept full responsibility for my actions. Out of respect to my colleagues and students, I would like to share that the incident in question stemmed from a well-documented side effect of a popular medication to treat acute insomnia. My history with acute insomnia was shared with the IC, which I believe led to their decision and recommendation to the president that Reed College had no cause to suspend or terminate my academic tenure, or to impose any other penalty.
The recorded video shared on social media depicts complex sleep behavior caused by a medication prescribed by my physician. What it does not show is my decades-long commitment to students’ diversity and inclusivity, which dates to my time as a graduate student and then a postdoctoral fellow. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, helping students from marginalized groups is personal for me.
For those who know me well, I hope you will consider our relationship and my work in the realm of DEI – one that involved helping students feel safe and included, in the classroom and research laboratory. For others, I hope you will continue to support and revere the positive role DEI plays in psychology, neuroscience, and other college-wide curricula. My ﬁnal hope is that we appreciate how DEI contributes to the overall character and openness of the Reed College community.
Paul Currie, Ph.D.