Northwestern Faculty Oppose New Athletic Director Selection

May 7, 2021

Six women faculty members at Northwestern University wrote an open letter to Provost Kathleen Hagerty in opposition to the university hiring Mike Polisky as the new athletic director, over allegations that he dismissed a cheerleader’s complaints of sexual misconduct, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The faculty members are also planning a protest march from campus to President Morton Schapiro’s house to object to Polisky’s hiring, the Tribune reported. Polisky served as deputy director of athletics for external affairs for 11 years and was named in a lawsuit filed by the cheerleader in January, which claims Northwestern officials violated Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination at federally funded institutions, according to the Tribune. The university denies the allegations and moved to dismiss the lawsuit in federal district court last week.

Polisky’s hiring “signals a troubling continuity in athletic department leadership that, while successful in some areas, failed the university and its students in significant ways,” the faculty letter to Hagerty says.

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