Seven current and former professors, and former graduate students, have submitted identical complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against T. Florian Jaeger—a distinguished professor and expert in linguistics and computational methods at the University of Rochester—as well as against several UR administrators, according to several recent reports.
Faculty and students who worked with Jaeger or came to BCS as graduate students, claim that Florian Jaeger “turned out to be a narcissistic and manipulative sexual predator,” who harassed women students.
In a detailed 111-page document, senior faculty members, including a former dean, and two grad students contend that Jaeger created a “hostile environment,” reports Madison Pauly, “for some graduate students, postdocs, and professors in the department, causing at least 11 women to actively avoid him and lose out on educational opportunities.”
The university has defended its own investigation of the allegations, saying the sexual harassment claims could not be substantiated but the EEOC complaint is sharply critical of the report that cleared Jaeger—noting that UR’s report was written by Catherine Nearpass, the university’s associate counsel for employment and labor relations.
In her article in Mother Jones, Pauly focuses on the experiences of Celeste Kidd, a doctoral candidate who alleges that Jaeger’s harassment began when she was first interviewing for a PhD program at UR in 2007—harassment that included sending her sexual notes, asking for information about her sexual history and entering her room without permission.
“Experiences like those that Kidd allege are not uncommon for women in academia, especially those working STEM fields, Janet Bandows Koster, CEO and executive director of the Association for Women in Science, told Pauly.
What’s worse, since the report was issued, UR professors say that the university and some of its employees have embarked on a “retaliation campaign” against them for standing up for the students.