University Of Rochester President Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations

University Of Rochester President Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations

"I would have to say that President Seligman's resignation is some vindication that what we were doing (raising the complaints) is right", Richard Aslin, a University of Rochester researcher who sued Seligman and the institution for improperly investigating Jaeger and retaliating against those who complained, tells the Democrat & Chronicle.

Nevertheless, university President Joel Seligman announced he would resign next month so that a new leader can focus on healing the campus, a task which may be complicated because the complainants have vowed to continue their fight in court.

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the report on the university's response to sexual misconduct allegations in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department largely approved Seligman's actions.

White was hired by a special committee constituted in September 2017 by the university's Board of Trustees to investigate the original complaints made to the university in 2013 and 2016 and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in August 2017 against Jaeger, how the university investigated them, and whether complainants experienced retribution from university officials.

Florian Jaeger, a research professor at the upstate NY university's cognitive sciences department, made national headlines last year after allegations arose that he had for years harassed and engaged in sexual relationships with his students.

"What mattered was always, how do you restore the self-confidence and pride that all 2,780 professors here, all 11,000 or so students here, all 100, 000 alumni, deserve?" "His conduct during this early period reflected poor judgment, immaturity and a naïve and stubborn belief that continuing his graduate student lifestyle, including extensive socializing with students, was permissible and posed no risks", the report said. Yet, she said, her firm's conclusions are legal, not "moral" ones. "Here we are in a situation in which she says students suffered experiences they never should have had to endure", said former department chair Elissa Newport, one of the complainants.

Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who led the investigation, will release the findings at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

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The report agreed with the University's initial determination that Jaeger had not violated any policy.

The board of trustees said it had "many serious decisions to make in the days ahead".

Jaeger issued a statement of apology this week. Seligman's departure is only further "confirmation that our actions were justified", he said. He first came to campus in 1975 as an assistant professor of philosophy.

"The report describes Florian Jaeger", Kidd said, "as the predator I know him to be".

"How many cases does it take to meet a threshold of pervasive?" he asked.

Of all White's recommendations for moving forward, Pollak said several stood out: having sexual harassment claims handled by an office and investigator apart from university counsel and providing claimants and the accused different advisers.

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