NEW YORK — A small group that says it was bullied by a University of Texas at Austin faculty member who has been banned from campus since his behavior sparked an international controversy have sued the school for defamation.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Texas says the university violated its fiduciary duty to protect the reputation of its students when it suspended John B. Bunch, an associate professor of sociology, for two years in October.
It also says Bunch has not been paid for more than two years.
The suit was filed by David M. Schumacher, a professor at the university’s Institute of Education Studies.
He and his attorney, Robert J. Smith, declined to comment.
The complaint, filed on behalf of a small, predominantly black student group called the Texas Students for Truth and Reconciliation, said Bunch harassed them, made derogatory remarks about them and made threatening remarks toward a female student.
Bunch is a graduate of the University of Houston and a visiting professor at Rice University in Houston.
He is also an adjunct professor at Texas Tech and at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York.
The group sued in August to gain an injunction preventing Bunch from returning to campus.
They said in the suit that Bunch’s behavior on the campus was so inappropriate and offensive that the university acted to silence him.
The students alleged that Bitch made sexist remarks to them, such as referring to the student as “a bitch” and telling them they should “get back in line” when they walked in.
Bitch also used social media to promote himself, said the suit, which was filed on Wednesday.