I’ve added a few additional questions to a post, Questions Concerning a Ban on the UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Husband After a Sexual Harassment Investigation, first published here on 9.17.18.
These questions are surely not comprehensive, and they are process & policy-oriented, so they implicate mainly the institutional response to individual injuries. As policy, however, the university or any institution owes to all members of the community a safe learning and work environment, and that goal requires taking (and maintaining) meaningful action.
Institutions are meant to serve individuals, not the other way around.
Over the years, I’ve found it useful (for myself at least) to list questions about significant subjects as new developments arise. Sometimes the scope of inquiry narrows over time, and sometimes it grows wider.
Questions added 12.19.18
What is the status – and scope – of the third UW System investigation into Pete Hill’s harassment and Beverly Kopper’s handling of the matter?
At least one of the women who has spoken of harassment from Kopper’s spouse alleges that other UW-Whitewater employees were present at the time of Pete Hill’s verbal harassment:
“[Hailey] Miller says that Heidenreich laughed, as did Sara Kuhl, the assistant vice chancellor for university marketing and communications. That response did not necessarily surprise Miller, who says she often deflected Hill’s advances with laughter.
Heidenreich did not reply to an email detailing the incident, nor did she respond to a voicemail. Kuhl also declined to respond to direct questions about the incident, beyond saying that she respected the university’s process for dealing with reports of wrongdoing.”
One of these employees has had the responsibility of overseeing and responding to public records requests on behalf of UW-Whitewater. Does her alleged role as a material witness not represent a conflict of interest in responses to public records requests in this or related matters?
The Journal Sentinel reports that a deal between the UW System and Kopper includes her “join[ing] the faculty through May 2020 as a tenured psychology professor.” (I oppose the deal – this question merely pursues its implications.) If it should be true that the UW System believes (as I do not) that Kopper should have the option of returning as a full professor, why set an end date?
Is this end date merely to allow Kopper to meet a financial milestone or goal of her own (ten years’ time, for example) rather than a belief that she offers a genuine benefit to the UW-Whitewater Psychology Department?
What public resources and employee time (including that of UW-Whitewater staff members, if any) did Beverly Kopper divert and use on her own behalf to maintain her role as chancellor, including lobbying public officials, the press, or trying to generate internal support?
Should it not be clear that time diverted that way would undermine future complainants’ confidence in being supported, and embolden future assailants to believe that injuries would be ignored for the sake of a leader’s or institution’s reputation?
As the UW System has made a deal on the general terms outlined the week of 12.18, has the System done so because no one knows how to handle this matter more wisely, or because this easily-criticized deal is designed to conceal discovery of other incidents – alleged against whatever person – of which this chancellor or other officials may have knowledge?
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, and The Limits of an Institutional Deal.