Judge clears Eric Murphy — a UND professor and legislative candidate — of Title IX claims

The judge determined earlier this month that Murphy did not violate Title IX or UND policies related to sexual harassment or discrimination.

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GRAND FORKS — An administrative judge has cleared Dr. Eric Murphy, a UND medical school professor and a Republican candidate for a Grand Forks legislative spot, of allegations relating to potential misconduct while serving as a faculty member at UND.

The judge determined earlier this month that Murphy did not violate Title IX or UND policies related to sexual harassment or discrimination. Murphy was recently sent an email from UND detailing the decision, which he shared with the Herald.

“This ruling demonstrates that the system worked as intended. Both sides were presented an opportunity to make their case and through the hearing process the truth was revealed. I am grateful for the opportunity to clear my name and the public now knows that I am innocent of these allegations,” Murphy said in a news release sent on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Eric Murphy
Eric Murphy (Submitted photo)

Earlier this year, the Herald reported that Murphy had been placed on paid administrative leave while university administrators looked into a matter "involving his employment." Murphy said in May that a female colleague had made a Title IX allegation against him.

Murphy expressed concern why the information about the allegation was sent to the media in the first place and said he feels “the leaked information was done by an individual seeking to weaponize confidential information, which undermined this process.”


“I believe this was done in hope of forcing my withdrawal from the legislative race prior to the primary,” Murphy said.

In a statement emailed to the Herald, spokesman David Dodds said “it is the university’s position that, in general, we do not comment on matters related to Title IX.”

Murphy said he believes the situation will help voters see how a potential representative will act in a time of alleged scandal.

He added that he thinks the situation shows a larger issue at UND. He said that sometimes “intentions to promote diversity and inclusion, often results in the silencing of unpopular, uncomfortable, or minority viewpoints and opinions.

“As a Goldwater Republican, I have felt for years that I am an endangered species in higher education, yet this recent decision demonstrates that perhaps we will not be eradicated. Just like there must be consequences for violating professional conduct, we also need to create consequences for falsely alleging misconduct,” Murphy said.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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