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U of Michigan faculty object to admin’s sex harassment procedures

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. …


  1. decision made 04/02/2015

    This is interesting, I wonder if the mighty UO administration carries on with similar prejudice………

    • dog 04/02/2015

      yeah this is pretty bad
      yes dating a student while in class and subject to your grade is a bad idea but after the class ends, this is just consenting adults.

      Does the student have to graduate before dating can occur?
      Do they have to turn 30 before dating can occur?

      Common sense was clearly absent in this case.

      And what defines dating?

      If you have a beer with a student after the course ends, is that
      a date?

    • Anonymous 04/02/2015

      History would indicate they will.

  2. Hippo 04/02/2015

    Whatever. At the very least, bad judgement for sure on the part of this professor. I’m not that concerned about his “rights”. Dating a former student is at best sleazy.

    • Guess 04/02/2015

      Hippo, honey. Are you serious?

  3. anonec 04/03/2015

    Is this the case of the “angry regent mom” who blocked the department’s tenure recommendation? Or do they have multiple cases over there?

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