Northwestern University philosphy professor Peter Ludlow — accused of sexual harassment by an undergraduate — now is suing the school for defamation.

Ludlow filed a federal court suit Wednesday charging that the university’s president, Morton Schapiro, and other officials defamed him in their comments about the controversy over the student’s claims.

He also charges that the university, in its investigation of the accusations, discriminated against him based on his gender in violation of Title IX — the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

The student who initially complained to university officials about Ludlow’s conduct has also filed suit against the school, claiming it violated Title IX by failing to respond appropriately to her complaints, while the university, in response claimed it did impose appropriate discipline on the professor.

The controversy led to protests on campus in March and to cancellation of a class Ludlow had been scheduled to teach spring quarter.

Ludlow’s suit claims the school officials didn’t accurately portray what was a mutual decision to have him drop the class while continuing to do his research and be paid.

The university today filed a response to the student’s amended complaint in her suit against the school, seeking to have the suit dismissed on grounds that the student’s complaint failed to show any wrongdoing by Northwestern.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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