Of Rochester's sexual misconduct probe, but president to resign

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Elissa Newport is the chair of the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department, where the professor who is under fire had been working.

In a statement, Professor T. Florian Jaeger said he could have shown more maturity when he arrived as a 31-year-old faculty member in 2007 and over time has improved.

Instead, Thursday brought another, unexpected announcement: President Joel Seligman (right) will resign, effective February 28.

Pollak also said he felt that White missed the point in saying that professors involved in the federal complaints were not retaliated against because their careers progressed.

"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.

The University of Rochester professor at the center of a sexual misconduct complaint that divided a prominent department and led the university president to resign apologized Friday to his students and colleagues for the distress and disruption it has caused.

In his first interview since announcing his resignation, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman covered a wide range of topics with WXXI News.

In a statement, Rochester's trustees praised Seligman and said he notified them of his resignation before they - or anyone else - had received the independent investigators' report. 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.

A University of Rochester professor's sexual relationships with students and other boundary-blurring behavior were unprofessional and offensive, but did not violate the school's policy or the law, according to a report Thursday that supported the university's decision to clear him of wrongdoing.

White was hired by a special committee constituted in September 2017 by the university's Board of Trustees to investigate the original complaints made to the university in 2013 and 2016 and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in August 2017 against Jaeger, how the university investigated them, and whether complainants experienced retribution from university officials.

White recommended a strict ban on sexual relationships between faculty and students, and urged the administration to facilitate extensive staff training on how to spot and prevent sexual harassment.

Investigators found Rochester made other, serious mistakes in the case that likely deepened on-campus rifts - including monitoring and sharing some department members' emails about the case with their chair without their knowledge, ostensibly to help him understand their concerns about Jaeger.

"Set the bar, and set it high", she said.

But the behavior did not violate university policy, which has since changed, nor was there forced sex, groping or "quid pro quo" sexual harassment, the committee concluded.

The complainants, at a news conference, called the report incomplete and said their legal fight would continue.

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