Findings due of college's dealing with of sexual misconduct

Man holds sign reading'Jaeger is a symptom at a rally at Rochester University in Sept. 2017

Rich Feldman will take over from Joel Seligman, who announced he would step down to give the university a fresh start.

Seligman said in a statement that his 12 years as president have been his life's greatest honor, "motivated by a single overriding criterion: What is in the best interest of the University of Rochester?"

The resignation will take effect on February 28.

The university has been in turmoil since an 111-page complaint filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was filed against the school.

In a joint complaint, at least four Rochester students alleged that the university didn't do enough to protect them from Jaeger, noting that the professor was promoted in the midst of an investigation into his behavior.

Science reports that Seligman made a decision to resign before he learned the conclusion of the report.

A longtime professor at the University of Rochester is now interim president, and tasked with immediately helping the institution respond to a report about sexual harassment allegations and the university's subsequent response.

"We can not in good conscience encourage our students to pursue educational or employment opportunities at the University of Rochester", the November letter stated.

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While the report doesn't find Jaeger's actions illegal, it does condemn his behavior as a professor from the time he was hired in 2007 through 2013.

The report "admits he sent pictures of his penis to a student and a former student ... that he blurred professional boundaries with sexual banter". "Some former female graduate students [in the department] had to endure behaviors and inappropriate remarks that they should never have had to, at UR or at any educational institution".

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. While the lead investigator, Mary Jo White, a partner at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, found that the university never retaliated against whistleblowers and that Jaeger never touched anyone without consent, she tells Science she was looking only from a legal perspective, "not a moral or social judgment". "We don't think there's a claim there under those laws", she said.

The report praised former graduate student Keturah Bixby for coming forward to report Jaeger to her department chair in 2013 (a separate report was brought by faculty members in 2016, resulting in an internal investigation that cleared Jaeger of serious misconduct). But the report itself was unsatisfying, he said, as Jaeger was found not to have harassed women to a "pervasive" or "severe" degree, even though multiple women testified about harassment.

"It was a very hard, and at times, wrenching, undertaking", White, who was hired by the university to independently investigate the matter, wrote in her report.

The nine complainants followed up with a federal lawsuit against the university, Seligman and the provost last month. Aslin and his fellow complainants did not participate in White's investigation due to the pending legal case. That means White's report-while based on about 140 interviews with other witnesses, including Jaeger-relies on old statements by some of the most central players.

"Your investigation is structurally unable to get evidence from the main actors in the stories you are trying to reconstruct", the complainants' lawyer, Ann Olivarius, wrote to White in November.

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