Panel Backs University Misconduct Probe; President Resigns

University Of Rochester President Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations

University Of Rochester President Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations

The University of Rochester professor at the center of a sexual misconduct complaint that divided a prominent department and led the university president to resign apologized Friday to his students and colleagues for the distress and disruption it has caused.

Joel Seligman announces his resignation as president and CEO of the University of Rochester during a presentation for campus leaders.

The resignation will take effect on February 28.

The panel found that while Professor T. Florian Jaeger's behavior, including sexual relationships with students, was offensive and unprofessional, the university was right to find he didn't violate university policy.

Seligman says he felt that the entire issue had become such a massive distraction that the university just needed a fresh start.

Enter Feldman, who served as Dean of the college from 2006 through 2017.

The report largely cleared the university and the professor of outright violations of the policy, but it did call for more robust procedures for investigating claims of sexual harassment against faculty members. In identical filings, seven current and former professors and a graduate student in the university's prestigious brain and cognitive sciences department-including Time "Silence Breakers" Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon-claimed that the university had mishandled a 2016 internal investigation into the the behavior of another one of its professors, Jaeger, and found him not responsible for violating university policy.

White's team, though, still did not find evidence that female graduate students had been subjected to a hostile work or academic environment since 2014, after the university revised its policy on faculty-student relationships.

But she said the University should "promptly take a number of bold steps" to begin healing a sense of distrust created by the allegations. She said she changed her course of research because of it.

White's findings will likely spark a harsh response from the staffers who first brought Jaeger's alleged behavior to light in a complaint last September. "It is not acceptable to say people have behaved offensively and inappropriately toward our students and yet no one has done anything wrong", said Elissa Newport, a cognitive psychologist formerly at the University of Rochester who is now at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

The group followed up with a federal lawsuit last month, accusing the university of retaliation and breach of contract and saying it has deflected and concealed problems of sexual harassment. Aslin and his fellow complainants did not participate in White's investigation due to the pending legal case. That means White's report-while based on about 140 interviews with other witnesses, including Jaeger-relies on old statements by some of the most central players.

"We have systematically promoted the complainants, we have supported them in receiving awards, we have given them pay increases". The professors argue that this is a fatal flaw.

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