There is controversy at the University of Rochester over a complaint filed alleging sexual harassment in the workplace.
The 111-page document was filed by two former professors with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department, who say they are representing five of their junior colleagues and many students negatively affected by the events described in a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The two professors leading the complaint wrote a letter to the U of R Board of Trustees claiming the university failed to act appropriately against a faculty member who they say engaged in sexual harassment and created a hostile environment for graduate students. The complaint accuses the university for retaliating against those who pursued a complaint through university channels.
The U of R issued a statement saying that the main allegations in the complaint were thoroughly investigated and could not be substantiated. The university believes that the EEOC complaint is largely based on hearsay.
U of R President Joel Seligman issued a separate statement acknowledging that the story, which has also appeared in Mother Jones Magazine, has left many people angry and upset. But he tells the university community that “allegations are not facts” and said the U of R will respond fully to the EEOC complaint.
Seligman says the U of R has taken steps in the last few years to strengthen the university’s efforts against sexual misconduct, and said he wants to assure “every member of our University community that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated here.”