William Harris is a prominent historian and academic. Until his retirement in 2017, he was also a professor at Columbia University. He is the author of a number of works on ancient Greece and Rome. Harris is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In October 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Harris and the trustees of Columbia University alleging that he sexually harassed a doctoral student in 2014 and 2015. The student also accused Harris of disparaging her after she rebuffed his sexual advances.
In December 2017, two additional allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were made against Harris. These alleged incidents happened in the 1980s and 1990s.