Findings due of college's dealing with of sexual misconduct

Findings due of college's dealing with of sexual misconduct

Shortly before it became public today that the president of the University of Rochester (U of R) in NY will resign next month, an outside investigator hired by the school to examine its handling of sexual harassment allegations against linguistic researcher T. Florian Jaeger announced her conclusion that Jaeger did not violate university policies or sexually harass students and that accounts by his accusers are "exaggerated and misleading in many respects".

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

Seligman says he made his decision before seeing the committee's report on Thursday.

The university, some of its administrators, and the accused professor, T. Florian Jaeger, were the subjects of Equal Opportunity Employment Commission complaints last summer.

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.

"The University's investigations relating to Jaeger in 2016 were conducted in good faith, impartially, professionally and in accordance with UR Policy 106", the report states.

Research professor Florian Jaeger made national headlines a year ago after allegations arose that he had harassed and engaged in sexual relationships with his students.

White recommended a strict ban on sexual relationships between faculty and students, and urged the administration to facilitate extensive staff training on how to spot and prevent sexual harassment. "Although we find Jaeger's behavior inappropriate, unprofessional and offensive, the governing severe or pervasive legal standard for hostile environment harassment is a very demanding one and we do not believe, from the evidence available to us, that that standard was met". While the lead investigator, Mary Jo White, a partner at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, found that the university never retaliated against whistleblowers and that Jaeger never touched anyone without consent, she tells Science she was looking only from a legal perspective, "not a moral or social judgment".

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The nine complainants followed up with a federal lawsuit against the university, Seligman and the provost last month.

"The report admits students suffered from his actions".

The allegations against Jaeger were first raised publicly by a group of faculty members last September, after they filed their EEOC complaints.

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

White and her team's report also found no evidence that the university retaliated against the complainants.

If the University of Rochester was seeking healing from an independent investigation into a harassment case that's cleaved its previously esteemed brain and cognitive sciences department, the institution won't get it. Aslin and his fellow complainants did not participate in White's investigation due to the pending legal case.

Update, January 11, 6:10 p.m.: At a press conference on Thursday evening, the complainants said they would continue to pursue their case against UR in court, arguing that the report's findings about Jaeger's behavior-contrary to White's conclusions-actually support some of the central arguments of their lawsuit. "It is not acceptable to say people have behaved offensively and inappropriately to our students, but nobody did anything wrong".

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