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Interim president at University of Rochester has immediate task

Interim president at University of Rochester has immediate task

A special investigator has been hired from outside the university to lead the investigation into the accusations against the university's president. (University of Rochester via The New York Times) - NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH NY UNIV PRESIDENT BY VIVIAN WANG FOR JAN. 11, 2018.

Instead, Thursday brought another, unexpected announcement: President Joel Seligman (right) will resign, effective February 28.

The western NY university's board of trustees appointed White and her committee after a group of faculty members and a graduate student filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the university had mishandled its investigation of Jaeger and retaliated against them for reporting his behavior in 2016. 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.

Rich Feldman will take over from Joel Seligman, who announced he would step down to give the university a fresh start.

Science reports that Seligman made a decision to resign before he learned the conclusion of the report. It says that he's received enthusiastic support from many of his students, especially in recent years.

She listed several recommendations, including prohibiting intimate relationships between faculty and students in the same department.




"As we as a community begin to consider this report, we trustees express our heartfelt apology to anyone who was hurt by the actions of any university employee, or who felt intimidated, excluded or harassed", a statement said.

Investigators found Rochester made other, serious mistakes in the case that likely deepened on-campus rifts - including monitoring and sharing some department members' emails about the case with their chair without their knowledge, ostensibly to help him understand their concerns about Jaeger.

"We can not in good conscience encourage our students to pursue educational or employment opportunities at the University of Rochester", the November letter stated.

Aslin said that the independent investigation, which cost Rochester $4.5 million, is little more than an attempt to "minimize the legal damage, which we will vigorously contest in federal court next month". Not long after, Seligman compared the professors' complaint to the infamous Rolling Stone account of a gang rape on a college campus, which was published pseudonymously and later discredited.

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. It said there was no retaliation by the university against the accusers.


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