University employees criticized Chancellor Jones’ handling of Professor Jay Rosenstein’s investigation while also accusing the chancellor of double standards at Monday night’s academic senate meeting.
Rosenstein, a professor in cinema and film studies, was placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual misconduct at the State Farm Center on January 23rd.
The allegations stem from an incident where Rosenstein attempted to film a student allegedly donning Chief Illiniwek apparel in the bathroom during a basketball game.
“Placing Professor Rosenstein on administrative leave because of the allegation that he poses a threat to the privacy of students and coworkers using the bathroom facilities on campus… such action is a breach of Professor Rosenstein rights under our statutes.” said Bruce Rosenstock, a professor in the religion department.
David O’Brien, former chair of the Committee on academic freedom, shared similar concerns with Rosenstock.
“I’m sure someone has brought your attention to that in the meantime but it would seem that what you did kind of ran roughshod over the statutes.”
O’Brien also said the Chancellor should have met with the Committee before making a decision on Rosenstein.
Although Jones said administrators and the campus Faculty Advisory Committee will meet soon to discuss further action, the chancellor offered little more on the subject.
“It’s a murky situation” said Jones.
The swift decision to put Rosenstein on leave, especially in an investigation concerning sexual misconduct, brought up questions of a potential double standard.
“What seems curious to me is that it feels like a moving goalpost a bit if we’re putting Professor Rosenstein on administrative leave for this thing . . . but then there are other people with active Title IX files on them and they are not on leave,” said Kathryn Clancy, an associate professor of anthropology.
When asked again about Rosenstein, Jones ended further conversation by saying the decision was made in the best interests of the students, class and university.
Clancy also voiced her concern with the University’s handling of Native American images.
“I’m kind of tired of being embarrassed sometimes to be a member of this -to be a part of this university, The New York Times article that just came out recently I feel like it’s a pretty stark example of the moments that I’m really embarrassed by our outward image.”
“I wish there was a simple resolution to the issue.” said Jones, “this is gnawing away at the reputation of one of the finest universities… and if we allow this thing to just persist without finding some way to have a coming together.”