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UR President Joel Seligman apologized in a meeting Sept. 12, 2017, for a reference he made in a statement about a sexual harassment complaint concerning UR professor Florian Jaeger.
James Goodman

Promoting embattled University of Rochester professor Florian Jaeger while he was under investigation for sexual harassment was a mistake, UR President Joel Seligman told faculty leaders.

He also said he only learned that faculty email was searched and allegedly used in an effort to discredit some of those who raised red flags about Jaeger when he read their federal complaint.

Seligman’s statements, set out in draft confidential minutes obtained and verified by the Democrat and Chronicle, highlight some of the administrative breakdowns that will be part of an outside investigation. Trustees launched that investigation on Sept. 19, the same date as the faculty meeting, and hired Mary Jo White, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and past chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to lead it.

Also that day, Jaeger agreed to take administrative leave from UR’s acclaimed Brain and Cognitive Science department. 

More: What you need to know about Florian Jaeger, UR sexual harassment case

“I frankly think it was a mistake (to promote him), and it was one where it’s not going to happen again,” Seligman told faculty when questioned about the matter. “And it’s not that after an investigation one can’t be promoted if it’s justified on the merits, but in the pendency of a serious investigation of this nature, it was wrong to promote him.” 

Faculty Senate meetings are closed to the general public. When a reporter offered Seligman the chance to confirm,…