White's report examined how the University handled a set of complaints filed by current and former members of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences about the behavior of Florian Jaeger, a professor in the department.
The complaint claimed Jaeger created a "hostile environment" and allegedly sent unwanted pictures and tried to sleep with students at parties. It said there was no retaliation by the university against the accusers.
"It has been the greatest honor of my life to have served the University of Rochester for the last twelve and a half years", Seligman said in a message to the University community.
"I would have to say that President Seligman's resignation is some vindication that what we were doing (raising the complaints) is right", Richard Aslin, a University of Rochester researcher who sued Seligman and the institution for improperly investigating Jaeger and retaliating against those who complained, tells the Democrat & Chronicle.
"The University's investigations relating to Jaeger in 2016 were conducted in good faith, impartially, professionally and in accordance with UR Policy 106", the report states. After a University investigation and an appeal of that investigation found that Jaeger had not violated applicable University policies, the group filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on August 30, 2017.
President and CEO Joel Seligman announced his resignation Thursday, effective February 28, bringing to a close one of the more transformative chapters in University leadership. 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.
The independent investigation was initiated last September to look into sexual misconduct allegations against Jaeger and to evaluate how the University of Rochester responded to them. "Here we are in a situation in which she says students suffered experiences they never should have had to endure", said former department chair Elissa Newport, one of the complainants.
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Debevoise and Plimpton, the independent firm, investigated Jaeger and Rochester's actions as part of a special inquiry into the case that's made headlines, at the request of the university's Board of Trustees.
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.
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.
Attorney Ann Olivarius, who represents the complainants, calls the report incomplete and inaccurate.
"Set the bar, and set it high", she said.
"We Trustees express our heartfelt apology to anyone who was hurt by the actions of any University employee, or who felt intimidated, excluded, or harassed", the board said in a statement to The News.
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