UW-Milwaukee students file 22 sexual harassment, assault complaints

Complaints against faculty, instructors and others

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- At least 22 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students have filed sexual harassment or sexual assault complaints against faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, advisers and supervisors over the last five years, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The university released hundreds of pages of records documenting sexual harassment and assault allegations to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel late Tuesday. The newspaper reported that 10 of the 22 complaints were substantiated.

Nine of those 10 cases involved people who have since been fired, not had their contract renewed or were referred to a dean for discipline. The 10th case involved a lecturer who had left by the time the finding was made.

Four employees in teaching roles had substantiated cases against them. One was a teaching graduate assistant, two were lecturers and one was a staffer who worked in a teaching role.

Three different students accused an academic adviser of sexual harassment in 2014. The adviser was fired.

A teaching assistant graduate student was kicked out of his program in 2013 and banned from every studying or working at the university after he nicknamed students "blondie," "chipmunk" and "nipples."

In 2014 multiple students complained that a visiting instructor in the College of Health Sciences used sexually charged and offensive language during class, touched students and suggested women can improve sexual health and pleasure by doing pelvic exercises.

In another 2014 case a lecturer who later left the university was accused of having an affair with one of his students and giving her a higher grade than she earned. The lecturer told investigators female students flooded his office, there was mutual flirting and that he and some students exchanged Snapchat messages with sexual jokes and images but that most of the exchanges occurred after the course had ended.

In 2017, an associate professor was accused of having non-consensual sex with a potential graduate student from another school at a professional conference in 2011. The case was referred to the instructor's dean for investigation.

The university redacted the names of accused employees, their accusers and witnesses from the records, the newspaper reported. School officials said federal law protects student information and they choose to remove any details that could identify victims.

University spokeswoman Michelle Johnson said all students and employees completed online training last year to raise awareness of sexual violence, discrimination and harassment.
 

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