Interim president at University of Rochester has immediate task

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The University Of Rochester's president, T. Florian Jaeger, has announced retirement next month after several sexual misconduct accusations and being labeled as a "sexual predator".

After the report was released, University of Rochester president Joel Seligman announced that he had made a decision to resign. Or at least that's the conclusion of a report released on Thursday by a team of investigators led by Mary Jo White, the former United States attorney and SEC commissioner who was hired by a UR committee in September to investigate the allegations and the university's handling of them.

It further that suggests a group of his colleagues who are now complainants in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case and related lawsuit organized to force his departure outside of formal procedures.

"Your investigation is structurally unable to get evidence from the main actors in the stories you are trying to reconstruct", the complainants' lawyer, Ann Olivarius, wrote to White in November.

In December 2017, eight current or former professors and a former graduate student in the university's widely respected Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), where Jaeger is a tenured professor, sued the university, Seligman, and Provost Robert Clark alleging retaliation, defamation, and (in two cases) breach of contract after they criticized the university's investigations of Jaeger in 2013 and 2016.

"In hindsight, there were aspects of the initial university investigation that could have been done differently and better", former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said in releasing the report after a 3 ½-month investigation.

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White stressed that her report evaluated sexual harassment through a legal lens. They noted, among other things, that the report repeatedly describes Jaeger's actions as "inappropriate" and "offensive" and that it conceded that because of this, some women "actively avoided pursuing academic opportunities with Jaeger". Jessica Cantlon, a professor at the university said that they attacked her privacy and reputation and that even their colleagues refused to work with them anymore.

"The department is dead", founding department member Elissa Newport, now a professor of neurology at Georgetown University and a complainant in federal cases against Rochester, said during a news conference Thursday.

"There is no evidence of which we are aware that Jaeger ever engaged in so-called quid pro quo sexual harassment or ever had any nonconsensual sexual contact with any person", she said.

"The report admits students suffered from his actions". It says that he's received enthusiastic support from many of his students, especially in recent years. "It is not acceptable to say people have behaved offensively and inappropriately to our students, but nobody did anything wrong". An earlier version of this article stated that U of R's policy on intimate relationships between faculty and students is as strict as Stanford's.

"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", the board said in a statement to The News. The faculty members plan to respond later in the day. They also claimed that UR retaliated against them for reporting Jaeger and participating in the complaints against him.

"It was a very hard, and at times, wrenching, undertaking", White, who was hired by the university to independently investigate the matter, wrote in her report.