U of R Faculty Senate tables vote on Jaeger

January 24, 2018 06:03 AM

Hundreds of University of Rochester faculty turned out Tuesday night to discuss what position the faculty senate will take regarding claims against colleague Dr. Florian Jaeger, a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Jaeger is accused of sexual misconduct, harassment and discriminatory behaviors towards students in his department.  An independent investigation led by Mary Jo White, a former chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was released earlier this month. It essentially found while Jaeger's behavior was unprofessional and inappropriate, he did not violate university any policies and should not be terminated.

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Tuesday's faculty senate gathering was a private, closed door meeting in the Feldman Ballroom that lasted two hours. 

"The university and the faculty senate should take a leadership role in not only making sure the recommendations of the White report are implemented but also that we go beyond that," said Dr. Michael Tanenhaus, also a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Tanenhaus who attended the meeting, said the university has to look at the relationships between graduate students and professors.

"There are asymmetric power relationships and they are particularly strong in research universities where you have grad students who are very much beholden to faculty, " he said.

An email was sent to U of R faculty by the co-chairs of the faculty senate discussing the accusations against Jaeger. It was expected the senate would vote Tuesday night to censure Jaeger and recommend the university revoke his tenure.  Lengthy discussions did not leave time for a vote. 

When asked by reporters about this and the senate's options, co-chair Dr. Mary Jane Curry would not comment, citing confidentiality. 

The senate is expected to take up this issue at its next monthly meeting.


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