A handful of Northeastern students received a mysterious email through Blackboard from Professor James Scorzelli, who works in the Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology, on Monday. The message read:
Northeastern’s Director of Media Relations Renata Nyul says the University is unable to comment on personnel matters, but students from Scorzelli’s classes have started raising concerns.
“No one is admitting to having reported him, and the school isn’t admitting to knowing what the inappropriate conduct was,” says one of Scorzelli’s students, who wishes to remain anonymous.
The student says she’s been speculating with her fellow classmates, all of whom are female, which could explain Scorzelli’s “you can contact the women” comment. “Nobody suspects there’s any kind of sexual thing,” she says. “It would have been more noticeable. Sometimes during class, his wife will call and he’ll talk to her.”
The student also admits he’s been known to make “racially inappropriate” comments, and told students on their first day to not even bother buying the textbook listed on the class syllabus.
“We haven’t learned anything,” she says, claiming she has yet to receive a grade. Because she has no grades to her name, however, she’s nervous she won’t be granted credit for the class—a class she’s already paid for.
In an effort to assuage her fears, the student allegedly sent Scorzelli an email. The email bounced back to her, however, indicating he no longer has a Northeastern account.
“I am surprised,” she admits, pointing to Scorzelli’s extensive background.
According to his faculty profile, Scorzelli has published over 100 articles and has been the recipient of five Fulbright awards and two World Health fellowships. His history in mind, the student describes the University’s action as “extreme,” saying, “A mid-semester suspension is a big deal.”
The students from his class expect to know more later this week. The assistant dean will reportedly be informing the class on how they’ll proceed with the rest of the semester.
“Even though I wasn’t really getting much out of the class, I enjoyed talking to him,” she says. “I was going to have him write me a letter of recommendation. I’m glad I didn’t.”
We’ve been unable to reach Scorzelli, and are still waiting on word from Vice Provost Mary Loeffelholz’s office. As the story develops, however, we’ll continue to update the piece.