Lawsuit Takes Aim at Rochester President, Provost

December 11, 2017

A new lawsuit stemming from allegations of harassment against T. Florian Jaeger, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, is taking aim at the institution and its president and provost.

In September Mother Jones published a deep dive into allegations against Jaeger, which included sexual harassment, blurred professor/graduate student boundaries, inappropriate comments toward women and academic retaliation against women who did not cooperate with him. The university denied the accuracy of the report and cleared Jaeger of any wrongdoing, although he was later placed on leave as an independent, outside review takes place.

The lawsuit, filed by nine current and former UR professors and students, accuses the University of Rochester, President Joel Seligman and Provost Robert Clark of creating a permissive environment for Jaeger’s alleged actions. At one point, while Jaeger was under investigation for sexual harassment, he was promoted by the university -- something Seligman apologized for in a Faculty Senate meeting.

"Our issue is no longer with Jaeger, whose conduct no one at the university is still defending. It’s the institutional problems," Celeste Kidd, one of the plaintiffs, told The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "The system failed to protect students who lacked the power to protect themselves. Then it came after the people who tried to defend those students and fix the system."

The lawsuit is available in full here.

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