One of the key figures in the sexual harassment lawsuit against the University of Rochester is leaving the university, citing a lack of action in response to the case.
Celeste Kidd blasted the university administration in a two-page resignation letter.
Kidd writes that leadership has refused to sanction or fire T. Florian Jaeger, the professor accused by a group of other professors of inappropriate behavior, saying instead leaders have defended Jaeger and attacked his accusers.
Jaeger was accused of misconduct in an extensive EEOC complaint last year. But, the university said previous investigations had cleared Jaeger.
After the details of the complaint went public, the university launched a new investigation that found Jaeger had acted inappropriately at times, but hadn’t violated the law or university policy.
Following the complaint, Kidd was featured among a group of “Silence Breakers” as Time’s Person of the Year.
Kidd’s husband, Steven T. Piantadosi, also resigned Thursday.
The University of Rochester released the following statement:
The University, under the leadership of President Richard Feldman, takes the safety of every member of our community seriously. This commitment is evident in the many policy revisions and programmatic and organizational enhancements that have taken place as part of President Feldman’s Culture of Respect initiatives. Since February, through extensive collaborative work within the University community, a number of meaningful and substantial changes have been implemented or are in progress, including:
- The University of Rochester now has one of the most restrictive policies among U.S. higher education institutions with regard to relationships between faculty and students.
- A new University Vision and Values statement now anchors and gives meaning to education and training around diversity equity and inclusion University-wide.
- A new faculty Grievance Policy has been adopted.
- Updated guides have been created for sexual misconduct reporting options and resources, and we’ve created a website that provides easy access to policies and procedures.
- We’ve identified advisors to work with students, faculty, and staff who wish to bring forward complaints.
- We’ve developed updated training programs to taken by all members of the community next fall.
- We already have established a new university-wide Diversity and Equity Council that brings together campus leaders from across the University to discuss these issues.
- An active Restorative Practices program is working with numerous groups and individuals across campus to address issues raised by the BCS controversy.
- We’re in the process of establishing a new, university-wide, office to coordinate and oversee diversity, equity, and inclusion activities. It will be led by a new vice-president.