UW-La Crosse reopens investigation into alleged misconduct by professor

UW-La Crosse is reopening an investigation into alleged misconduct by a faculty member.

In a social media post, a student at UW-La Crosse claims she was sexually mistreated by her professor during her freshman year. She did not report the incident at the time, but did talk with the UW-La Crosse Human Resources Department last fall. “They took me in for questioning and told me they would start an investigation over the summer and that they would keep me updated on the process. Summer is now over and I never received any updates on the matter,” the student wrote.

The student is disappointed with how the university handled the incident and would like to take further action and meet with Chancellor Joe Gow, the post said.

News 8 contacted UW-La Crosse regarding the incident and received the following statement:

“Official UW-La Crosse statement on Sept. 4 social media post:

UW-La Crosse is committed to the mission of maintaining a safe and inclusive learning environment for every one of our students. This includes preventing sexual misconduct and promptly responding to all complaints and concerns expressed by any member of the campus community.

The University is aware that public statements have been made regarding an investigation of a faculty member. As an institution, we acknowledge the university should have been more prompt in communicating the result of this investigation to the student and regret the negative impact this had on the student.

When the complaint was received, an investigative team comprised of trained university officials promptly followed up with the student and exercised due diligence to identify and reach out to other potential witnesses. Investigators, along with the dean of the college, also met with the faculty member to share the allegations and hear the faculty member’s response.

While there was not a determination that our policies were violated in this case, we nevertheless took action to protect the student from retaliation or other disruptions to academic opportunities during the investigation. These measures will continue for the remainder of the student’s time at UWL. The university has also taken action to ensure that the faculty member and the department are engaged in ongoing efforts to maintain safe and appropriate instructor-student interactions.

Since additional information has come to light, Chancellor Gow has directed the investigative team to re-open the case and to seek a review of the matter by the UW System attorneys to provide insights and guidance on this process and the conclusions.

We ask and encourage anyone who feels they have witnessed or experienced misconduct to report it. Confidential support is also available. Complete information can be found at: https://www.uwlax.edu/violence-prevention/learn-more/sexual-assault/.”

News 8 also attempted to contact the student, but has not received a reply.

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