ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A long-awaited report into sexual harassment claims against a University of Rochester professor and the university's policies found that the professor, at the time of his actions, didn't violate university policy, but acted inappropriately, adding that the university should make changes to several policies.
Florian Jaeger, a professor in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, faced allegations ranging from forcing a female student to live with him to using his influence to sleep with female graduates. The allegations led to protests, and Jaeger was put on administrative leave.
The report found that during several different time periods since he joined the faculty in 2007, Jaeger had several sexual relationships with university women and "engaged in behavior that was inappropriate, unprofessional and offensive."
But, the investigation found that during each time period of his career when he faced allegations, he did not violate the University of Rochester policy that was in place.
Since 2013, and including last year, the university has updated its sexual harassment policy, particularly as it relates to professor-student relationships. The report, headed up by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, found that the current university sexual harassment policy is aligned with other schools, and found it in places to be more stringent.
However, White's team made several recommendations on strengthening the policy, and also made recommendations to clarify the process a complaint must go through, as they found both the women who brought allegations and Jaeger himself felt the investigative and response processes were unclear.
"There should be no misunderstanding with regard to how to make a complaint and what to expect from the investigative process."
University officials say they will release a comment after reviewing the findings and recommendations. Faculty members are also promising to work with the administration to implement any recommended changes.
8 Policy Changes Recommended to U of R
- Prepare a "Advice of Rights and Procedures" brochure
- Develop a list of university personnel to serve as advisers of claimants
- Hire two new counsel assinged to OCC
- Review and rework sexual harassment training
- Amend UR Policy 106, which deals with sexual harassment
- Retain outside counsel to assist investigating claims of sexual harassment by faculty
- Publish annual report of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment complaints
- Implement procedures for reviewing faculty emails on the university's servers
- Provide easy online access to relevant policies