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November 13, 2019

Message from Ian Robertson regarding hostile and intimidating behavior

Written By: Webmanager

To the College of Engineering community,

Over the past several years, UW-Madison has worked to establish new campus wide standards and training around hostile and intimidating behavior in the workplace. This is rooted in our obligation to provide safe and supportive learning and working environments.

As many of you are aware, the Wisconsin State Journal reported recently on a very serious case involving a faculty member in the College of Engineering that came to light after the 2016 suicide of a graduate student in his research group. The faculty member was suspended for two years as a result and is eligible to return to campus in January.

The College is engaging in a detailed process of continued information gathering and development of the oversight and monitoring procedures that are required to be in place for this faculty member. Because this process takes time, I have reassigned the faculty member to administrative duties in the Dean’s Office; consequently, the faculty member will not teach during the spring semester.

This assignment will remain in place until the department chair, the provost and I are satisfied that adequate measures are in place to provide oversight of the faculty member as a teacher, mentor and research advisor, as well as to prevent potential harm to students.

Please read on for more information from Chancellor Blank and Provost Scholz.

Ian Robertson, Grainger Dean of the College of Engineering