A prominent Harvard University government professor said he would retire last week after the university placed him on administrative leave amid an investigation of sexual harassment accusations by up to 18 women—including students, faculty and staff—over several decades.

The high-profile resignation renews the debate—this time against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement—of whether relationships between faculty and students can ever be considered consensual, given the power differential between the parties. A number of similar allegations have emerged on campuses across the United States in the wake of sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

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