Approximately 200 professors from colleges across the nation added their signatures to a letter discouraging students from attending Rochester University
The letter, signed openly by roughly 220 college professors thus far with the number of signatories increasing, is the latest in the backlash against Rochester University’s approach to handling allegations of sexual harassment against Florian Jaeger, a former professor.
The letter declared that current President of UR, Joel Seligman, did not “adequately respond” to the allegations of manipulative, predatory, and harassing behavior against Jaeger until the accusations were brought to a public light.
The letter criticizes the university for failing to protect the individuals who attempted to enforce the UR’s stated values by coming forward; instead choosing to attempt to “diminish” the accusations and create an environment of hostility towards the victims, advocates of the victims, and others in the campus community.
The letter added that the UR has not committed to its responsibility to support and protect its students and that its approach of “supporting” the accused predator (Jaeger) and directly intimidating victims in the case means that signatories cannot encourage students to obtain employment or seek education at the UR.
UR spokesperson claims the university will change how it handles sexual misconduct
In response to the open letter, Sarah Miller, the university’s spokeswoman, claimed the UR is taking the accusations and letter extremely seriously and will re-evaluate how sexual misconduct allegations are handled in the future.
Former professor Jaeger was a researcher in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences. Colleagues filed complaints to the UR in 2016 against him describing inappropriate behavior and sexual advances.
The UR dismissed the accusations as “unfounded” after an investigation, and promoted Jaegar.
Once the case and subsequent accusations came to public light in September through publication Mother Jones, Jaeger was promptly placed on leave.