A report by Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle, here:
The former assistant professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor says he had no idea what he was walking into when two administrators there summoned him to a meeting.
An email from the two mentioned only concerns about his “alleged interaction with university students.” At the meeting, he says, their casual tone and his own belief that he had done nothing wrong prompted him to candidly discuss having dated an undergraduate after she finished taking a course from him.
The 2012 meeting turned out to be “a setup,” recalls the former Michigan faculty member, who spoke to The Chronicle on the condition that it not identify him because he and the woman he had dated already have been harassed online.
The administrators, he says, soon used statements against him as part of a sexual-misconduct investigation. Months later, officials there declared that he had violated “the spirit of” a university rule barring romantic relationships between instructors and their students.
He faced sanctions that included a salary freeze and a three-year postponement of his eligibility for tenure, which he had been on the verge of receiving. Told he could appeal his punishment but not the administration’s finding of guilt, he chose to resign. …
The report from the UM faculty committee is here.
On review of the FHC’s report and other materials, SACUA concurs with the conclusions of the FHC that the procedures for handling allegations against faculty lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process and that, in “each of the three cases investigated,…the process was deeply flawed” (Report of the SACUA Faculty Hearing Committee, Dec. 8, 2014 (hereafter FHC), p. 17). More specifically, we conclude, based on the available record, that
1. The procedures of the Office of Institutional Equity currently in effect, as presented in their policy documents, lack adequate due process protections for faculty subject to OIE investigations, including fair and adequate notice, fair investigation processes, and the ability to appeal OIE findings and decisions based on such findings.
2. In carrying out its inquiries, OIE sometimes fails to follow its stated procedures or exploits discretion in its procedures to deviate from “typical” practices, without justification and to the detriment of respondents.
3. Both OIE and AHR are staffed by employees who lack the academic backgrounds necessary to evaluate matters of an academic nature and whose status as employees subordinate and reporting to the executive officers of the University creates a conflict of interest inconsistent with their professed neutrality. …