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University of Michigan professor to resign amid sexual harassment allegations

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ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan computer science professor Walter Lasecki announced he will resign on Aug. 30 after multiple allegations of sexual assault against him came to light.

Some of the allegations were exposed in a Michigan Daily investigation. The U-M student news outlet interviewed four women who detailed unwanted advances, including groping, by Lasecki. Many of these instances occurred at conferences and in the presence of others, according to the interviews.

All of the women were graduate students at the time, and only one was affiliated with U-M. Choosing to remain anonymous, she said the misconduct took place on campus, off campus and at conferences.

However, emails obtained by the newspaper reveal a total of 22 individuals experienced the same treatment from Lasecki.

The announcement of Lasecki’s pending resignation was sent out in an email to CSE department faculty on Friday. Until Aug. 30, Lasecki is reportedly banned from any in-person interaction with students.

According to the Daily, two separate investigations by U-M’s Office of Institutional Equity and the Association for Computing Machinery reached “vastly different conclusions.”

OIE’s investigation found that Lasecki was not in violation of the school’s sexual harassment policy and all four cases and did not sanction the professor. In contrast, ACM concluded that Lasecki was in violation of its Policy Against Harassment and barred him from association events for a minimum of five years.

An open letter from the CSE student body criticizes the department for adhering to OIE guidelines.

“We view it as hypocritical to claim that the department prioritizes student safety and well-being, when it acts otherwise when faced with a clear conflict,” reads the letter. “This lack of integrity can no longer continue if the department indeed cares deeply about its students.”

The letter currently has been signed by 191 students and community members, 77 of which chose to remain anonymous.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.