Originally posted 4.19.19.
One reads today, in a Good Friday records release from the UW System, that Up to 10 students, faculty report being harassed by former UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband:
An investigation into the husband of former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper found that at least seven and up to 10 students or staff reported being sexually harassed by her husband.
Kopper resigned in December after her husband, Alan “Pete” Hill, had been banned from campus. The university released the 18-page investigative report and about 850 pages of attachments on Friday in response to an open records request.
In the report, investigators conclude there is credible evidence that Hill sexually harassed both employees and students, and that the incidents occurred mainly on campus or UWW-related properties like the chancellor’s home.
A few preliminary remarks:
Widespread, Pervasive Injury. News accounts suggest an even greater number of harassment and assault survivors than previously reported.
Investigation and Supporting Documents. I have not yet read the eighteen-page report or hundreds of pages in supporting documents. If the report is not published online by the papers that requested it, I will submit my own request to the UW System under Wisconsin’s Public Records Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31–19.39.
UW System Investigation. Update 4.19.19 9:30 PM: Updated reporting notes that the UW System used outside investigators. There were two prior purely internal investigations, the existence of which remained concealed from the public for months, and System Pres. Ray Cross and others kept those prior investigations secret until a newspaper’s public records request forced their acknowledgment.
The prospect of ongoing litigation against the UW System for so many cases of individual injury means that the System has a financial and reputational self-interest in minimizing a description of those injuries.
The Ongoing Tragedy. The last two chancellors presided over a campus with a high number of sexual assaults, administrative concealment of harassment, and multiple published accounts of failure to process complainants’ claims properly under federal law. See, a category at FREEWHITEWATER addressing the circumstances that brought this campus, and this community, to search for a yet another chancellor.
Then and Now. There is a fundamental difference between those who experience injury and those who merely write about it. This difference is always in my mind. Those who are injured deserve care and support as soon, as often, and as fully as they require it. That care and support, even with the best intentions, will often prove inadequate, but it carries with it an expectation of immediacy. One does not allow an injured person to go without the care she or he needs and wants, then and there.
By contrast, those of us who merely write about others’ injuries neither need nor deserve care, and so have (necessarily) no immediate expectations for ourselves. An examination may stretch over an extended period. Indeed, sometimes the collection of information requires relentless, methodical diligence. One returns to a subject so often as it requires, again and again if necessary, until a contrary force is at last swept away.
Most of all: one wishes that there were no injuries, and so no need for writing about them.
Previously: Journal Sentinel: UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband banned from campus after sexual harassment investigation, Questions Concerning a Ban on the UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Husband After a Sexual Harassment Investigation, Chancellor Kopper Should Resign, A fifth woman publicly accuses UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband of sexual harassment, The UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Lack of Individual Regard, No Ordinary, Unconnected Spouse: Public officials’ use of family appointees, An Example of Old Whitewater’s Deficient Reasoning, The Principle of Diversity Rests on Individual Rights, Another ‘Advisory Council’ Isn’t What Whitewater Needs, A Defense That’s Worse Than Nothing, 0, 448, 476, 84, Kopper Resigns, Whitewater Remains, Negative Equality is No Virtue, and A Community Listening Session for a New Chancellor.