University or Rochester students are upset with president, Joel Seligman, after a town hall meeting with the community to address allegations of sexual harassment against UR professor Florian Jaeger.
A University of Rochester professor has been placed on leave and a special committee has been appointed to investigate the university’s handling of sexual harassment claims against him.
The matter involving professor Florian Jaeger has rocked the prestigious university since the controversy surfaced earlier this month.
UR President Joel Seligman had previously announced his intention to appoint an independent investigator and a committee to review UR’s policies and practices for handling allegations of sexual harassment. Both of those tasks have now been superseded by the special commission named and led by members of the Board of Trustees. The committee has retained Mary Jo White, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and past chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to lead its investigation.
UR released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“The Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester has appointed a Special Committee to oversee an independent, comprehensive investigation into all matters involving the EEOC Complaint. The Committee will be chaired by Richard Handler and its members will initially consist of trustees Nomi Bergman, John Davidson, Lance Drummond and Lizette Pérez-Deisboeck. The Committee will also review the University’s processes and procedures related to addressing claims of sexual abuse and harassment. The Committee’s work will proceed to conclusion, irrespective of any decision by the EEOC or any other parties to pursue claims.
“Chairman Danny Wegman stated, ‘This is a matter of utmost importance to the entire University community, and the Special Committee will conduct its investigation with complete independence, with access to all relevant information, and receive total cooperation from the University.’ President Joel Seligman added that: ‘I welcome this independent investigation by the Board and assure the complete cooperation of the University and its staff. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public deserve a full and transparent accounting on this matter.’
“The Special Committee has today retained Mary Jo White, Senior Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to lead the investigation. Ms. White, who has served as both Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has decades of investigative experience. Ms. White and her team have conducted numerous independent investigations involving sexual abuse and harassment at educational and other institutions. They will report the findings of the investigation to the Special Committee. The goal of the Special Committee is to complete the investigation by December 31, 2017, and once the investigation is completed, the findings will promptly be reported to the Board and made public to the University community. The Board of Trustees believes integrity is the cornerstone of every great university and only a rigorous, methodical, focused, and transparent process will be acceptable.
“The University, with agreement from Professor Florian Jaeger, has put Professor Jaeger on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Special Committee’s investigation.”
A spokeswoman for Seligman declined to elaborate or answer further questions about the matter, other than to say he still plans to establish a commission to examine the climate for women on campus and other issues related to gender.
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