University of Rochester Professor Accused of Sleeping with his Students
ROCHESTER, N.Y. —Professor Florian Jaeger, A renowned researcher and Psycholinguistics, has been accused of sexual harassment and other unlawful behavior by a number of former students.  Jaeger, 41, had worked for the University of Rochester, a private university, in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department for a decade faces charges from over a dozen former employees.
In 2007, the University of Rochester hired Professor Jaeger who came highly recommended from Stanford and the University of California-San Diego. Apparently, within the past ten years, Jaeger used his position of power to pressure students to meet with him alone, have sexual relationships, and he would make inappropriate, humiliating or condescending comments to and about female students and faculty. Moreover, the complaint states he took illegal drugs with his students.
Back in 2016, the then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the university, Richard Aslin, first put the university on notice of Jaegr’s inappropriate conduct. The University of Rochester investigated Aslin’s claims, but cleared Jaeger of any wrongdoing. Afterwards the university even promoted Jaeger to full-time professor and retaliated against Aslin for his complaints.
Since the allegations went public in September 2017, the number of alleged victims against Professor Jaeger has grown. Now the 14 plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, are accusing the professor along with the University of Rochester for protecting the professor. Moreover, University of Rochester allegedly retaliated against any individuals who complained about Professor Jaeger’s behavior.
The federal complaint states, Professor Jaeger also conditioned access to him and his social elite circle on whether his victims complied with his sexual demands. Specifically, the complaint states, “Jaeger slept with so many students at [the University of Rochester] or other institutions and made passes at so many others that his penchant for having sex with graduate students became well known among Ph. D.s and post-docs.”
This past August, Becca Canale, a third-year undergraduate student in the University of Rochester’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences program, walked into her psycholinguistics seminar on the first day of class in with Professor Jaeger. In commenting on the allegations, she explained, “I didn’t actually know Jaeger too much before this year, but I do have multiple friends who were his advisees. He’s very much a part of our department… I had heard that he was a professor known for sleeping with grad students through friends in the department, but nothing to the same extent of what’s come out since.”
Canale recalled that first day, describing Professor Jaeger’s demeanor as “a little forward,” due to his crude comments and foul language. “I think it was probably just him trying to be a cool professor. But it was a little weird, especially on the first day.”
“In light of recent events, both students and colleagues are telling many of us that they have come to expect sexual harassment to be a ‘normal’ and unavoidable part of academic life,” read an open letter to the Linguistic Society of America.
Sexual harassment and retaliation are not immune to the University of Rochester. It is estimated that 10% of female graduate students at large U.S. universities are sexually harassed by faculty, according to a 2015 study be the Association of American Universities. Furthermore, many of these faculty members are serial harassers.
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