Top-ranking Rutgers professor under sexual miconduct investigation
One of Rutgers’ top-ranking professors, Stephen Bronner in the Department of Political Science, has been taken out of the classroom until the University’s investigation into allegations that he sexually harrassed at least one graduate student decades ago is completed, according to an article by NJ Advance Media.
When class registration for the spring semester began, Bronner was listed as the professor for two classes, according to the article. But when students showed up for class last month, new instructors were assigned to teach.
“Professor Bronner currently is not teaching and will not be teaching until matters are resolved,” said Dory Devlin, a Rutgers spokeswoman. “He is not on leave. He is assigned research and is not currently teaching.”
Rutgers began its investigation into Bronner last year, after former student Kristy King filed a complaint claiming he had run his hand up her thigh on her first day at Rutgers more than 20 years ago, according to the article. Her complaint also included other allegations of sexual harassment committed by Bronner, which took place over the course of several years.
The University initially refused to investigate the claim because of a policy stating they did not have to investigate claims of incidence that occurred more than two years before, according to the article.
The Daily Targum reported earlier this week that Rutgers began a University-wide Sexual Harassment Prevention Committee last fall after concerns were raised regarding the two-year limit. The committee will give University President Robert L. Barchi its recommendations on all the areas of concern in the University’s policies for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct soon.
No one from Rutgers has contacted King since December, King’s attorneys told NJ Advance Media on Friday.
King’s case is 1 of 6 investigations Rutgers has initiated on an employee since they began investigating all sexual harassment allegations, no matter how long ago they occurred, according to the article.
The names of the employees under investigation have not been released, according to the article.
The Targum reported that Barchi released a message regarding the committee’s purpose after a new coalition, “End Assault at Rutgers,” spoke and presented a list of eight demands for changes in University sexual harassment policy.
One of the coalition’s demands was to de-tenure Nabil Adam, a former vice chancellor of Research and Collaborations at Rutgers—Newark who had been accused by one of his former graduate students of sexual assault and harassment. He has been cleared of allegations of sexual harassment and is currently being investigated for allegedly retaliating against his accuser.