Lauren Peace talks with attorney Sharon Stiller and Michelle Cammarata of Restore Sexual Assault services about how to identify instances of sexual harassment and what to do about it. Since the allegations surfaced publicly in early September against psycholinguistics professor T. Florian Jaeger, 41, the number of alleged victims has grown to 14, according to managing partner Jef McAllister of McAllister Olivarius law firm, the complainants' legal team. Psycholinguistics is the study of the psychological and neuroscientific processes that allow people to use and understand language, and Jaeger was at the forefront of that research. Sept. 14: What you need to know about university's sexual harassment case Sept. 13: Student criticism on handling of sex harassment allegations mounts Sept. 11: Clearing of prof accused of sex harassment focus of faculty complaint The private university itself is accused of protecting Jaeger, even going so far as to retaliate against those who complained about his behavior before relief was sought from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The two who wrote a letter to the university Board of Trustees have been past department chairpersons who have worked a total of 57 years for the University of Rochester.
Richard Aslin, a complainant who held several leadership positions in his 33 years at UR, resigned in June over the university's handling of the case. "I was dean for five years at Rochester in the '90s, and saw in my role as dean some of the unprofessional behaviors of faculty members I had to adjudicate, but this one is the worst I've seen," Aslin said. "That's why I'm so dumbfounded that the university didn't similarly judge this to be an extreme case." One of the main EEOC complainants is Celeste Kidd, an assistant professor in UR's brain and cognitive sciences department. In the days since Mother Jones published Kidd's allegations and a summary of the EEOC complaint, students and alumni have written angry reviews on UR's Facebook page and launched a petition to get the university to terminate Jaeger and re-evaluate its sexual harassment policies.
University of Rochester professor T. Florian Jaeger, the subject of a 2016 sexual harassment complaint who was found by his university not to have violated its policies, will no longer teach an undergraduate course there this semester. According to an email from Jaeger to students enrolled in the class, which was provided to Mother Jones separately by two students, the university has appointed a different instructor. Eight current and former members of UR's brain and cognitive sciences department filed identical EEOC complaints about two weeks ago alleging that Jaeger, the university, and several administrators violated laws that ban discrimination in the workplace and in federally funded education. Their 111-page complaint, first reported on by Mother Jones, claims that Jaeger contributed to a "hostile environment" for some graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members and alleges that over a 10-year period Jaeger's behavior caused 11 women to actively avoid him and lose out on educational opportunities. Jaeger "made it clear that students who wanted to excel needed to please him, socially and sometimes sexually," the complaint alleges.
An embattled University of Rochester professor accused of sexual harassment has reportedly continued working at the school despite being on paid administrative leave, prompting a lawsuit by fellow faculty members. Florian Jaeger, an influential professor at the university's Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BSC) department, has been on paid leave amid sexual misconduct allegations rocking the university. A complaint filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims the professor hosted drug-filled hot tub parties and had "unprotected sex with students, sent unwanted photographs of his genitalia to a female student, [and] lamented to others that he might have sexually transmitted diseases." But despite the allegations, three faculty members have come forward to accuse the university of letting Jaeger off the hook and allowing him to work on campus, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. According to a lawsuit filed earlier in December by three people working in the BSC department, including those who first complained about Jaeger's sexual misconduct, the professor continues to work on campus and exert influence over students and the faculty.