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'Sexually Promiscuous' Professor at the University of Rochester Faces Censure Vote

Florian Jaeger engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with students, but broke no university policy.

Florian JaegerFlorian Jaeger / FacebookLater today, the faculty senate of the University of Rochester will vote on a motion to censure Florian Jaeger, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences, for sexual misconduct.

"Professor Jaeger engaged in a variety of inappropriate and unprofessional sexual or sexualized behaviors in his interactions with students," Senate Co-Chairs Mary Jane Curry and Kevin McFarland wrote in an email to the faculty senate that was obtained by Reason. "These behaviors had predictable and harmful impact on students."

Jaeger, who was hired at Rochester in 2007 at the age of 31, is accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple students, of creating a climate of sexual harassment within the brain and cognitive sciences department, and essentially of being a serial predator. The allegations against Jaeger, which did not become public until last fall, seem damning at first blush. One of his accusers, former Rochester Ph.D. student Celeste Kidd, said he constantly made her feel uncomfortable. On September 1 of last year, Kidd and six other academics filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging a pattern of harassment and discriminatory behavior. According to this complaint, Jaeger

made it clear that students who wanted to excel needed to please him, socially and sometimes sexually. He used obnoxious and objectifying sexual language, intentionally crossed boundaries with women, including undergraduates, intentionally humiliated female students, and knowingly made women feel physically unsafe; they got the sense that their discomfort excited him.

He used illegal drugs with students and hosted hot tub parties.

Kidd and her fellow complainants have also accused the university of retaliating against them. They filed an additional complaint in federal court on December 8, 2017. Student-activists have protested Jaeager's continuing employment at Rochester. Many signed a petition calling on him to be fired. One student even launched a hunger strike.

Largely absent from the conversation is one inconvenient fact: Jaeger was cleared of any wrongdoing. Not once, not twice, but three times. It's easy to see why investigators repeatedly reached this conclusion: University policy did not bar professors from engaging in sexual relationships with their students until 2014, by which point Jaeger's objectionable behavior had ceased. That's why Rochester determined that while Jaeger may have crossed certain lines, there was no grounds to terminate him—a decision the university stood by even after the complainants appealed.

Moreover, some significant factual assertions made at various stages of the investigation were deemed false during a subsequent, independent investigation conducted at the university's request by the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton.

The results of this investigation—led by Mary Jo White, a former chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission—were released earlier this month. The document detailing the findings is more than 200 pages long. It recommends that the university make certain changes to its sexual misconduct policy. But it also concludes that "while there is no doubt that Jaeger, at one time, had a reputation as promiscuous—another aspect of his character that did not change from his years as a graduate student—Jaeger's characterization as a 'sexual predator' in the complaints is baseless."

While Jaeger did indeed pursue sexual relationships with students before the university changed its rules, he was never accused of sexual assault. "We are aware of no evidence—or even allegation—that Jaeger ever engaged in sexual assault or any other nonconsensual sexual contact whatsoever."

White and her team interviewed more than 140 witnesses, including 14 of the 17 graduate students and seven of the 10 postdoctoral fellows who worked with Jaeger between 2007 and present. It was clear to them that Jaeger's inappropriate sexual behavior—including his tendency to make sexually explicit jokes and comments—abated after the university became stricter about such things in 2014.

Further, the White investigation concluded that several claims concerning Jaeger were simply false:

The EEOC Complaint, for example, suggests in two separate places that Jaeger engaged in sexual activity with a prospective student who stayed with Jaeger and his partner during a visit to [the university] in 2015. To the EEOC Complainants' credit, their subsequent federal lawsuit, where Rule 11 pleading requirements apply, withdraws that assertion, noting that the student has now confirmed that she did not experience any sexual advances or other misconduct by Jaeger during her visit.

Rule 11 is a federal provision that essentially subjects attorneys and their clients to possible legal sanction if they make unsubstantiated claims. It doesn't apply in EEOC filings—nevertheless, this aspect of the EEOC complaint was simply false, according to White.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Jaeger's behavior—the place where the harassment case seems most compelling—is his treatment of Kidd, who claims she was subjected to "unwelcome, harassing sexual comments." Her claims are complicated by the fact that she lived with Jaeger for nearly a year: She rented a room in his apartment from the summer of 2007 until the spring of 2008. Kidd characterized this arrangement as coercive—he "pressed" her to live with him—but that's hard to accept at face value. As White's report noted:

The unedited Facebook messages between Jaeger and Kidd, as well as their email communications, suggest that in summer 2007, when Kidd moved into Jaeger's house, their relationship was friendly and harmonious, and we found no evidence indicating that Jaeger coerced Kidd into living with him. Interviewees overwhelmingly indicated that while they found Kidd's and Jaeger's living arrangement strange, they all thought Kidd and Jaeger were friends from summer 2007 to spring 2008. Emails between Jaeger and Kidd at the beginning of their living arrangement echo this perception.

By all accounts, Jaeger's and Kidd's living arrangement appears to have been initially friendly and mutually acceptable, although we note that we view it as a serious lapse in Jaeger's judgment to live with a graduate student.

It's hard not to see parallels between Jaeger's situation and that of Northwestern University Professor Peter Ludlow, who was accused of engaging in a nonconsensual sexual relationship with a student—even though, as Laura Kipnis wrote in her book about the Ludlow investigation, it was difficult to imagine how the long-running relationship could possibly have been forced. "What would it mean to not consent to sending a thousand text messages?" wrote Kipnis. A similar dynamic seems to be at play here.

There's one more element to the Jaeger situation: Since 2014, he has been in a relationship with Chigusa Kurumada, who is also a professor in Rochester's cognitive and brain sciences department. Kurumada is from Japan, and living in the U.S. on a work visa. (Jaeger is himself from Germany.) Kurumada told me that she strongly disputes the complainants' claims. Moreover, in their zeal to destroy Jaeger's career, she says they have imperiled hers.

"In what was purported to be a campaign to protect and empower women, Florian's accusers—my own colleagues—belittled my professional achievements and insinuated that I was complicit in his behaviors or even enabled them," she writes via email. "I was the only woman not given a pseudonym in the EEOC complaint. Using my real name, obviously foreign, furthered the goal of presenting Florian as a perpetrator by portraying me as a stereotypically submissive Asian woman."

Kurumada's prospects have suffered greatly as a result of the efforts to oust Jaeger, she claims.

"While I have consistently carried out my academic responsibilities, I have done so while being publicly shamed by my colleagues and while my partner endures death threats and daily hate mail," she wrote. "My plans for grant proposals and journal submissions have been in large part tabled, and I have been disinvited from one speaking engagement in Japan, my native country."

It would be easier to count the damage to Kurumada's career as an acceptable loss if it meant holding a serial sexual abuser accountable. But it's hard to argue with White's exhaustively researched conclusion: Jaeger's long-ago behavior may have been gross and ill-advised, but it did not violate university policy and it no longer threatens students or faculty members at Rochester.

Nevertheless, the censure vote in the faculty senate later today could result in a loss of tenure for Jaeger.

"My client Florian Jaeger has now undergone three separate investigations...each one determined he did not violate any law or University policy," says his lawyer, Steve Modica. "Now some members of the faculty senate wish to revoke Florian's tenure because he engaged in consensual relationships 10 years ago with several female students. I would hope a group of educators from a world renowned institution like Rochester would be concerned about due process, facts, and context instead of complaints filled with misinformation and distortions."

Photo Credit: Florian Jaeger / Facebook

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Professors who sleep with their students deserve to be shown the door. Even if everything is consensual, even if everyone is an adult and should be expected to act like one, even if no one complains. Accusations like this are completely foreseeable, and were even before the campus sexual assault hysteria of the Obama years. There is a clear power differential that invite lawsuits, frivolous or not.

    This is a headache that a university doesn't need.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I agree. Something doesn't have to be illegal or forbidden to still be a terrible idea that has a high likelihood of blowing up in someone's face later on.

    It's odd that some professionals, like physicians and psychologists, generally know not to sleep with patients even if those patients are consenting adults. It's as if they realize it's probably not worth the risk to their professional reputation and career. But professors are a group of professionals who often seem to not get it.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's because they lose their license if they are caught. The professional organizations for each profession generally police that. I can't believe tbis college did not have such a rule until 2014.

  • Libertymike||

    The professional organizations are the state.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    No they are not.

  • Paloma||

    But he had moves like Jagger

  • Bubba Jones||

    The mistake this guy made was not in banging the coeds. It was in coercing them.

    All he needs to do it stick to undergrads who aren't as "vulnerable" to harassment and put a new futon in his office. Game on.

  • Libertymike||

    No, FoE, the better policy for the academy is to unambiguously abandon any semblance of loco parentis for its snowflakes and to simultaneously repudiate the victimization culture while excoriating the due process denialism feature of the sexual assault and sexual harassment investigatory paradigm conceived by the legal wing of second wave progressive femme-a-Nazism.

  • Number 2||

    Agreed. These are not middle-school 12-yr-olds. These are graduate students for crying out loud. They are college degree holders in their mid-twenties. Absent proof of coercion — real proof, that is — they are responsible for their life choices.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    There's a fundamental conflict by virtue of the fact that the PhD mentor has a HUGE amount of influence on whether a student graduates and how long it will take. Getting a PhD is not like getting a BS. There aren't "classes" that you have to pass. There aren't quantitative metrics. You work in the mentor's lab and contribute to the scientific discipline in an almost arbitrary amount until a committee of faculty members that the student forms (usually approved by his/her mentor) decides "sure, you've done enough to graduate." There are literally no standards. I've seen people awarded with the PhD who did not (in my view) do nearly enough to warrant it, and I've seen others toil away for 6, 7, 8 years before being allowed to defend.

    So when sex comes into play, a 7 year PhD (not uncommon in that department...) could turn into a 4 year PhD. Or vice versa.

  • Libertymike||

    But does that potential conflict warrant the acceptance of the cult-marx due process denial feature of the sexual assault and sexual harassment investigatory paradigm?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    No way. I'm fully on board with the notion that due process is a fundamental principle that even private companies should adopt, even if they don't (legally) have to. I was just responding to the idea that faculty mentors having sex with their students is fine. I think U of R has a bad policy.

  • Number 2||

    Was this a faculty mentor relationship case? The complaint simply made reference to "students." And FoE was speaking generically about professors sleeping with students, not the faculty mentor case that you refer to.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Yes, the students in question were his and/or had other direct professional relationship with him. If I recall, all the students who made complaints were from within his department. There was a very clear conflict.

  • Presskh||

    If true, then he should be fired, IMO. Inappropriate professor/student behavior has been taboo for generations, regardless of "official" school policy. The school may have assumed that any teacher with a shred of ethics would recognize this as a professional conflict of interest and not engage in it. This is no different than accepted norms in most businesses, where it is considered unethical to have a sexual relationship with someone you supervise and have evaluation authority over.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    But then why become a professor? Sleeping with the students was always the most powerful motivator for achieving a teaching position at a university.

  • Leader Desslok||

    That's what I like about 18 year olds. I get older but they stay the same age.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Forbidding consenting adults from having sex? Sure, what could possibly go wrong?

    -jrc

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    In my opinion, a lot less than permitting it.

  • Bill||

    Then it is up to the university to have clear policies
    that forbid such contact and make it clear that they
    are fireable offenses.

    On the other hand, it is quite common for professors
    to marry their graduate students. In fact, one of my
    colleagues is married to her former professor as a
    grad student and they have a young son. The usual
    solution is to say that you can not date someone
    that will receive a grade from you in a course and
    allow adults to make their own choices.

    You could equally well argue that co-workers should
    never date as it sometimes ends up messy, but most
    companies only have rules about supervisors dating
    people they supervise. And many people meet their
    spouses on the job as my mom and dad did.

  • Bubba Jones||

    My alma mater tried to ban this behavior 20 years ago, but the STUDENTS protested.

    I guess it's customer service?

  • freedomlover||

    It's called conflict of interest.

    We had this same dilemma back in the 70's when I was in college and TA's didn't think they should have to abide by rules of not comporting with their students. Sure, all adults but, TAs grade students and, those grades are worth a great deal. Especially when grades were "on the curve" as they were at UC.

    A conflict of interest is created when another student is sleeping with the TA....or prof. No doubt about it.

    Even without a university policy against Jaeger's actions, he should have abided by the age old adage: "You don't fuck the help!"

  • Mark22||

    But the conflict of interest exists for both the student and the professor, and they are both willing participants. They should both face the consequences.

    Letting the student keep her degree that was tainted by her relationship with hey professor makes no sense

  • Mark22||

    "There is a clear power differential that invite lawsuits, frivolous or not"

    The notion of a power differential is bullshit. Both the professor and the student have the same power: they can walk away from the sexual relationship or the can walk away from the mentoring relationship. But they need to walk away from one or the other.

    What makes this wrong is that student and professor conspire to deceive others in the creation and evaluation of academic work. For that, the professor should get fired and the student should lose her degree.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I'm with you on the whole "it takes two to tango" idea. But there's an asymmetry here you're not considering. Defending her PhD can only slightly be aided by sleeping with the teacher*, whereas it can be completely sunk by the mentor for not sleeping with the teacher. The thesis committee ultimately decides whether she passes. It's not uncommon for a committee to tell a student they're not ready to defend even when the mentor thinks they are. But I've never heard of a thesis committee passing a student who the mentor did not allow to defend. And if a mentor really wanted to be a dick, he could prevent the student from using any lab resources that would allow the student to complete a project. This is a case where there IS a power differential, simply because of how the system is set up.

    * = the amount of aid the mentor can provide for sexual favors is about the same amount a good mentor should be providing anyway

  • E. Kline||

    Fist of Etiquette : " Accusations like this are completely foreseeable, and were even before the campus sexual assault hysteria of the Obama years."

    You think this hasn't been happening for decades? You think plenty of professors weren't sleeping with willing students in the 60's 70's 80's 90's and early aughts? This happened 10 years ago, and when it was happening I say it wasn't the least bit foreseeable. The main complainant lived with him for a year. I doubt he saw all this coming. This was very typical behavior for at least 4 decades and no-one was getting fired. In loco parentis was a thing of the past, and pretty much every woman who attended college had a crush on one professor or another. Did they all act on it? No, but out of the nearly one hundred million of women who have attended college, how many do you think have slept with a professor? Because when I was in college I new of several in my own peer group. Where are all the complaints?

  • DiegoF||

    Can someone explain to me the deal with hunger strikes? They get used all the time, from characters as peaceful and eccentric as Gandhi to as bloodthirsty and depraved as Bobby Sands. But I've never understood why exactly anyone should feel bad for them per se. They did it to themselves! Why would someone who's not extremely sympathetic to them in the first place be somehow outraged by their death? (I really can't imagine even being particularly upset then.) I certainly don't see why the "targets" of their strike should ever give a shit--other than it apparently galvanizes opinion or something, which again I don't quite see why.
    .
    Help me understand this peculiarity of human social behavior, normies!

  • Don't look at me.||

    You are at the wrong place if you want an answer from a normal person.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Hunger strikes are for people who are too cowardly to set themselves on fire!

    Beats me why anyone would feel guilty if some dumbass offed himself in protest.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Would it be wrong to go to their hunger strike and toss Snickers bars at them?

  • Mcgoo95||

    Big mac's are more effective

  • ||

    Would it be wrong to go to their hunger strike and toss Snickers bars at them?

    My undergrad university was in a blue-collar town in a red state. Pretty much any publicly known or announced hunger strike triggered a commensurate barbecue.

  • ||

    Help me understand this peculiarity of human social behavior, normies!

    I'm actually with you. A heroin bender/OD strike makes more sense to me than a hunger strike.

  • Paloma||

    Only governments that are fairly respectful of human rights in the first place are shamed or bothered by a hunger strike, even when the striker starves himself to death, like what happened in Venezuela a few years ago. The British government cares when Bobby Sands or Gandhi strikes, leftist thugs not so much.

  • Malvolio||

    I once made the mistake of asking that exact question, while in a pro-IRA pub. "Why should the British feel bad that Bobbie Sands chose to starve himself to death?"

    The bartender got very irate. "Bobby was me cousin!"

    "Gee, I'm sorry about that," I told him. "I didn't know. I feel terrible. Tell you what. Why don't you skip lunch tomorrow and we'll call it even?"

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Thinking about Jaeger makes me imagine epic battles with kaijus, which gets me excited to see the upcomg movie Pacific Rim 2.

    I wonder if this story is part of some clever viral marketing for the forthcoming film.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't care for Japanese pr0n. And it's not the pixelization, either.

  • Juice||

    It's the squeaking, isn't it?

  • ||

    Not enough dudes sword fighting.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The men are Asian. They can't possibly be large enough to cause that kind of pain/pleasure.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It's the unkempt bush.

  • chemjeff||

    Not enough tentacles?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There was a Parasitic Jaeger kaiju? Man, even the Japanese are running out of ideas.

  • Rhywun||

    It's a good thing the Japanese lady came along in 2014 to relieve him of the burden of chasing woke American skirts.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Procedures. Were. Followed.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Not. Well.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Largely absent from the conversation is one inconvenient fact:""

    For the SJW crowd, it's a feature, not a bug.

  • RaymondhW||

    I'm not sure what the point of the article is. Dude acts like douche to customers, faces penalties from employer. Why exactly should he get a pass because it was sexual? I didn't break a specific rule isn't exactly something to hang your defense on. This isn't a court of law it's a employer.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""This isn't a court of law it's a employer.""

    It looks more like a court cry babies. The employer is just responding to them.

  • Libertymike||

    If the employer, the academy, writ large (and almost always a state actor because so-called private schools almost always take the federal doe), adopts the due process denialism of the sexual assault and sexual harassment investigatory paradigm as conceived by the progressive legal wing of second wave feminism, the employer has, itself, chosen to be a whining SJW captive.

  • Bill||

    He did not break actual rules of the university and
    was cleared three times of wrong doing. The investigation
    using the law firm looked very thorough and even the
    Feds backed off.

    Now, some left-wing supposedly feminist professors
    are trying to take matters into their own hands.

    That's the issue.

  • freedomlover||

    Tenure. Colleges don't "employ" professors.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Professors who slept with their students ten years ago shouldn't be held responsible for their choices today, and that's because . . .

    I don't know, maybe it's because it's got something to do with Title IX?

    Is it about tenure?

    I don't think it's about free speech.

    I guess it's in favor of the statue of limitations?

    Does it have to do with it being a state school?

    Is it about the Fifth Amendment, the NAP, or . . . ?

    Who knows cares what the issue is!

    The important thing is that there's an issue, here, of some kind, and Robby did a good job.

  • Rhywun||

    It's not a state school.

  • ||

    Check your sarc meter. He doesn't actually think Robby did a good job; forcing readers to dig through all the bullshit to find the libertarian angle.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Are you saying that Ken doesn't like it when the writers pull a Ken Shultz?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Ain't nobody got time for that!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Nobody's left wondering what I think or why at the end of my posts.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Assuming they make it to the end?

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. This piece could have been posted to Salon without modification.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, it's up to us to find the libertarian angle, here.

    Robby's told me before that you can tell his pieces are libertarian by looking at the masthead.

    . . . which is not an especially libertarian way of looking at the world.

  • Libertymike||

    Are you asserting that it doesn't get any federal goodies? Unless it forbids to accept any federal payola, including payments via student loans guaranteed by the feds, Pell grants, et al, it is, for practical purposes, a state school.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    That's a horrendous attitude for anyone with libertarian leanings to adopt. If we want to go down the "do they accept favors from the federal government?" road, then virtually every corporation would be considered public and would be at the whims of politicians. As libertarians, we should hold the OPPOSITE view.

  • Libertymike||

    Just up thread you were critical of the notion that two adults should be free to engage in sexual relations because one is a graduate student and the other is a professor of the former. As libertarians, we should hold the OPPOSITE view.

    As for receiving federal payola, should not libertarians first and foremost animadvert the recipient for taking property forcibly confiscated from others?

    The academy is and has been thoroughly corrupted by, and infected with, the state - willingly. If you, me and Dupree agree to do business as a corporation and do not accept any government goodies, without more, how does your point apply?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Nowhere did I suggest that the government should prosecute the guy. There's a big difference between suggesting that a private company adopt a set of standards to reduce conflicts of interest, and saying that receiving federal favors should mean that the government steps in to make policy in the company.

    As for receiving federal payola, should not libertarians first and foremost animadvert the recipient for taking property forcibly confiscated from others?

    Government has obviously asserted itself into EVERY aspect of human life. To think that we can operate independently of government is simply impossible. As Sheldon Richman has pointed out many times, you can't simply strip away a few layers of government interference and expect to see a free market underneath. Government has made itself the market, and in the process, has distorted what the market might be if government had not intervened.

    If a private university stopped accepting federal money, they would go bankrupt the very next day. That is for two reasons: 1) The federal government, not the student, is a university's primary customer. The federal government's pockets have dictated prices, much like how insurance companies and medicare have dictated health costs; 2) The federal government has taken over research in this country, with the majority of R (from R&D) costs being directly or indirectly funded by the taxpayer.

  • Libertymike||

    If a private university stopped accepting federal money and subsequently goes bankrupt, what does that say of its business model and its board of directors / leadership?

    However, there are schools that have either refused or opted out of the federal racket and have not gone bankrupt. Examples: Hillsdale College, Grove City College, and Patrick Henry College. The list is growing.

    Yes, you are right about the feds distorting the market, as they always do. That, however, does not thereby mean that a university must accept federal money or that we should be patronizing universities which have jumped on board the federal gravy train.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    If a private university stopped accepting federal money and subsequently goes bankrupt, what does that say of its business model and its board of directors / leadership?

    Nothing. It says that the market is comprised mostly of federally funded consumers. And if you no longer do business with the majority of consumers in the market, things aren't going to go very well for you. When you also consider that universities are somewhat unique by the fact that their quality is dependent on the quality of their customer, even modifying your business model to accommodate the change you suggest would have a DRAMATIC impact on their quality.

    Also keep in mind that every research professor whose work is currently federally funded would leave. Those happen to be the professors that tend to be the most accomplished ones, so this would have another pretty big impact on quality.

    Fight to change the system. But in the meantime, do business as business is being done. Every day we alter our behaviors based on the system. That's not an endorsement of the system as it stands. It's self preservation. I think pot should be legal too, but I'm not going to smoke it in front of a cop.

  • freedomlover||

    You can't have it both ways. Ask me how I know.

  • Cy||

    If any entity takes money from any government entity it SHOULD be held accountable to adhere to all personal rights. Otherwise you wind up with the environment you have today where the governments can just contract out their tyranny via corporations, schools, etc...

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    What if the government has forcibly taken over the industry and distorted prices in the process, effectively eliminating market competition and artificially raising barrier to entry?

    For example, should the policy of every major hospital in the country be dictated by politicians in Washington because the federal government has edged out the competition by providing "free" care to the poor and elderly? I thought libertarians were against that.

  • Mark22||

    Libertarians may have preferences either way, but there is no answer you can derive from libertarian principles.

    It's like trying to answer whether it is more libertarian to be raped or beaten up, based on which you think is a lesser violation of the NAP.

  • Mark22||

    The libertarian angle is not to give government funding to universities at all.

    Debating the rules under which government funding is given to universities is not a libertarian debate. You're free to engage in such debates, it's a free country, but don't pretend that such debates are a litmus test for libertarian cred.

    Both fire him and keep him are compatible with libertarianism because it's not a libertarian issue.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    That's fair, and I didn't intend to take such a libertarian-snob tact in my response. But if you're a libertarian, and you're advocating for MORE government intervention in the free association of people, you have to step back and think about your position very clearly.

  • ||

    One of his accusers, former Rochester Ph.D. student Celeste Kidd, said he constantly made her feel uncomfortable.

    In his defense, when I Google to see what she looks like, she seems uncomfortable even when smiling.

  • Number 2||

    Barack Obama constantly made me feel uncomfortable. Can I sue him for sexual harassment?

  • Libertymike||

    His face, his voice, his very ugly aura constantly gave me the creeps.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Well, he probably can't murder you with a drone now, so give it a shot.

    -jcr

  • freedomlover||

    He's back! Just like the TV people mommy.

  • TGoodchild||

    I just did the same thing..

    "Who the hell would be named Celeste Kidd?"

    Her parents must have read alot of comic books.

  • Rich||

    The document detailing the findings is more than 200 pages long.

    And *profusely* illustrated,

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    While I agree with the sentiment that we are in the midst of a witch hunt, there's a problem with this sentence:

    Further, the White investigation concluded that several claims concerning Jaeger were simply false

    This is circular logic. One of the main points of the complaint is that the investigation was poorly and unfairly conducted. While it is true that Dr. Jaeger deserves due process, a REAL investigation should be carried out and it should be conducted by an impartial third party who is good at conducting investigations. The original "investigation", by the way, was conducted by the chair of the department, who I have worked with personally and who is an extremely well-accomplished scientist, but quite literally knows nothing about conducting investigations into sexual misconduct (why should he?).

    The bottom line is that women have a legitimate complaint that their complaints are not being treated seriously. And the U of Roch case is a perfect example of something that took years because "investigators" were not qualified, and bumbling administrators did not know how to handle these issues.

  • Libertymike||

    "The bottom line is that women have a legitimate complaint that their complaints are not being treated seriously."

    Right from the cult-marx progressive school of witch hunt hysteria.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I was at Panera a few weeks ago and the woman at the next table had her purse stolen. She called the police and they were actually able to retrieve the purse and her phone. What the University of Rochester did in this case would have been equivalent to the woman asking the guy at the counter making sandwiches to conduct the investigation into her stolen purse.

    So when a woman makes a complaint, and the university defers the problem to be solved by a cognitive scientist who specializes in neurophysiological coding of cortical neurons, it's safe to say that her complaint was not taken seriously. That's why these ladies have a gripe. They are reporting misconduct, and it is being ignored.

    And not to give away the punchline -- but that brilliant neurophysiologist appears to have fucked up the investigation pretty severely.

  • Libertymike||

    To be sure, upon a generalized, undifferentiated reading, your analogy has surface appeal.

    However, the analogy suffers because the theft of the purse was a malum per se offense whereas the complaint of sexual harassment was not. It also suffers because the purse snatching was one, discrete matter whereas you have not distinguished which complaint was investigated by a cognitive scientist or how many such investigations were conducted by the cognitive scientist.

    Yes, I agree that there are some people better suited to conducting investigations, generally, and complaints of university code violations, specifically.

    Yet, how can one be said to be well suited to investigate complaints of sexual harassment if one has already a built in bias in favor of the validity of sexual harassment and much, if not all, of the femme-a-Nazi agitprop which undergirds the sexual harassment investigatory paradigm?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    It's fair to question who is best suited to investigate these complaints. In my view, universities should be careful to assign these matters to investigators who can be fair, reasonably independent, and competent at investigating. But the person originally assigned had none of those qualities. That's not a knock on him. I personally like him, and the quality of his work (in the field of neuroscience) speaks for itself. But he's not an investigator, and that's true of any chair in any department. So it's hard for me to understand why you seem to be defending a process that started with him being the main investigator and didn't seem to go anywhere else until another (very prominent) professor in the department -- as well as others -- advocated for the student.

  • Libertymike||

    You obviously have some inside information relating to at least one incident and therefore have the benefit of superior knowledge.

    Please do not think that I am defending the process, writ large (sexual harassment complaint investigations) - my posts should convince you of that.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I left the department before any of this came to light, and I didn't know about it when I was there - so I don't have any information that isn't already in the document. But I read the juicy sections when Chronicle released a story about it couple months ago. And I do know a few of the faculty involved on both sides. I'll say this. The story isn't just about promiscuity. He was highly unprofessional by anybody's standards. I haven't made up my mind about whether or not he should be dismissed for being a world class creeper (although if the allegations are true that he threatened students careers, then he should), but I think some policy changes at the university level are definitely in order. But that's something that the university needs to decide. There are literally professors at other institutions suggesting to their students not to go there because of this, so it's probably in their best interest anyway.

  • freedomlover||

    Four other researchers have left over the university's handling of this case. Interestingly enough, it was two wife/husband couples.

    WTF is with these married couple researchers all working together? A cluster fuck or something?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Classic two body problem. When you have spouses both looking for faculty positions, it's not uncommon for a university to make offers to both of them in order to successfully land the one they really want.

    You bring up something that hasn't been mentioned yet. One of the whistleblowers here was a (relatively) new faculty member in the department. He was a hugely productive member of the scientific community. The university promised to take his wife too if he came aboard. He alleges that they changed their mind after he blew the whistle on this case and he sided against administration. I don't know how true this allegation is, but he left.

  • Ron||

    Never accused of sexual assault"
    maybe he was never accused because the student(s) felt they couldn't complain and/or obviously their complaints would fall on deaf ears. Just because those in charge said a person in charge did nothing is no better then letting the foxes guard the hen house and that is why these issues should always be brought to the police

  • Libertymike||

    Yeah, the coppers are so good at finding the truth...............

  • freedomlover||

    AFAIK, nothing criminal was reported nor asserted. The police have no business in that case.

  • juris imprudent||

    The sex was unprofessional? I thought it was more troublesome when a pro is involved?

  • TGoodchild||

    The guy's name is "Florian Jaeger" - what do you think he's going to do, presumably after saving the multiverse from some kind of evil empire?

  • Longtobefree||

    Could someone please comment on the phrase 'ex post facto'?
    Oh, never mind. Campus. Sex. Railroad.

  • Eidde||

    "a professor of brain and cognitive sciences"

    So he just loved those women for their brains?

  • PaulTheBeav||

    So how did the vote go? Was he censured?

  • Eidde||

    "The University of Rochester's faculty governing body tabled a motion of censure against Professor Florian Jaeger for further consideration at a Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday."

  • mayduavongts||

    Thanks for sharing, nice post! https://goo.gl/suDuZE

  • al-saulinsky||

    Florida is an "at will" State. Unless he has tenure let his butt go for being a creepy douchebag and be done with it.

  • Mark22||

    Let's not kid ourselves here: women who sleep with their professor (or casting director) and don't complain about it before they reap the benefits are doing so in order to gain an unfair advantage. Furthermore, regardless of what you think the morality might be, it is obvious that the independence and professor's evaluation of their work cannot be trusted.

    Therefore: fire the professor and rescind the Ph.D.'s.

  • MobettaJenkum||

    Voter-registration is public-record... and it MATTERS when these types of things occur 90% of the time in one specific party... So WHERE IS HIS VOTING RECORD?!?!?... SMDH, and you call yourself "an investigative-journalist"...

  • beafrank||

    Is not coed nookie a faculty and student-aid benefit? It historical has been since Aristotle.

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