The Patron

One October day in 2017, Amulya Mandava met with her anthropology professor to review a grant proposal she was working on. For an hour she and John L. Comaroff went through the proposal, line by line. He gave good feedback and reading recommendations to Mandava, then a third-year Ph.D. student at Harvard.But as she was closing her laptop and preparing to leave, Comaroff said something that shook her. He told her, she later wrote in a statement to a Harvard office, that people were spreading rumors about him — rumors that he had had sexual contact with his students —
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How One Word Led to an Uproar

Greg Patton said the word near the end of class. He was explaining how, when you make a presentation, it’s helpful to pause sometimes to let your audience absorb the information. Nervous speakers tend to fill the gaps with ums and ers when silence is preferable. It’s the kind of nuts-and-bolts advice that Patton, a professor of clinical business communication, has dispensed to M.B.A. students at the University of Southern California for a couple of decades now. He thought nothing of it at the time. Many of his students aren’t from the United States. A typical M.B.A. class at Southern
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