Menu

Amid Criticism, University of Rochester President Steps Down

Academics had expressed disapproval with the college’s handling of sexual harassment allegations made against a brain sciences professor.

Jan 12, 2018
Kerry Grens

WIKIMEDIA, TOMWSULCEROn the heels of an investigation into sexual harassment complaints against a University of Rochester professor, the college’s president, Joel Seligman, has elected to leave his post. Although the investigation cleared Seligman of wrongdoing—and also exonerated the accused, brain science professor Florian Jaeger, of violating university policies—critics praised his departure.

“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. Aslin himself had resigned from the university in protest.

The school’s board of trustees, the local chamber of commerce, and others praised Seligman’s contributions to the community.

See “Academics Criticize University of Rochester’s Handling of Sexual Misconduct Case

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. 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 credit that some [Brain and Cognitive Sciences] students were negatively impacted by the professor’s conduct earlier in his career at the University,” White’s report concludes. “Partly as a result of that conduct, but also because of the broad dissemination of the often exaggerated descriptions of that conduct, the esteemed BCS faculty has been fractured and the University’s reputation has been harmed.”

Science reports that Seligman decided to resign before he learned the conclusion of the report. According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Seligman expects to return to Rochester as a law professor after a year-long sabbatical.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.