Rutgers University reverses sex harassment policy
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University announced it will change its policy on investigating sexual harassment complaints following a newspaper report that it had set a time limit on old complaints.
University President Robert Barchi said Wednesday the school will immediately investigate all sexual harassment complaints. Barchi said he has also ordered a review of the office that handles those complaints to ensure it has enough staff and resources.
His announcement came hours after NJ.com reported the university’s Office of Employment Equity told a woman who accused a professor of sexual misconduct that it doesn’t investigate complaints more than two years old.
The woman said political science professor Stephen Eric Bronner inappropriately touched her between 1999 and 2009, and she filed a formal complaint against Bronner in February.
Bronner said the university never came to him about the complaint. He said he has no memory of the interaction with the woman, and he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy decried the two-year limit before Barchi’s announcement. He said in this era, “you’ve got to cross all your ‘t’s and dot all your ’i’s.”
Barchi says the old policy was “inconsistent” with the school’s practices and values.