SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials at San Jose State University were trying to answer questions Wednesday about a professor who remained on the job after a campus investigation determined he sexually harassed a student.
According to a San Jose Mercury News investigation, an SJSU professor who taught counseling education harassed a female student last year by repeatedly asking her if she was single.
The professor stayed on the job as the head of his department for several months after the campus investigation concluded his comments were in fact inappropriate, raising concerns about how the university handled it.
San Jose State University President Mary Papazian issued a statement to staff and students in the form of a letter Tuesday night.
The letter read in part, “The actions alleged and related issues enumerated in news coverage are troubling. We are looking into them. We will learn from them, and we will take appropriate systematic actions based on what we learn.”
The president did not respond to KPIX 5 media requests through a spokesperson as of Wednesday afternoon.
Some students KPIX 5 spoke to said the letter was vague and didn’t explain exactly what the allegations were.
“I really didn’t know what it was talking about,” said SJSU senior Ashley Tu. “I don’t think anyone knows
what’s really going. I haven’t heard anyone else talking about it.”
When asked if, as a student, would she want to know if a professor was accused of sexual harassment, Tu replied, “Yeah, probably. It would be weird if it was one of my professors.”
The president did speak to the San Jose Mercury News and admitted that officials learned from the way the situation was handled.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reported the professor stepped down days before the academic year began. His bio remains on the SJSU web site.