OED Report: Former UT professor harassed female students ‘over a period of many years’

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – New Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Donde Plowman released an outline of expectations and resources for students following the findings from an investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct of a former professor.

This happening as a year-long investigation wraps up.

UT’s Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) conducted the sexual misconduct investigation and the professor, Dr. Grissino-Mayer, who has not been with the university since October 2018.

The report states the investigation finding “more likely than not” the misconduct happened. Eleven grad students came forward, which prompted the university’s investigation.

“I want to first acknowledge current and former students who came forward and bravely shared their experiences,” Plowman said in the statement of the report. “That was not an easy thing to do and if they had not done so, the shocking abuses of power and responsibility by Dr. Grissino-Mayer would likely have continued.”

OED spoke with students, former students, faculty and people off campus during its review of the professor, who had been in his tenure with the Dept. of Geography.

The final report was presented to Plowman Aug. 16.

“OED has found multiple frequent and repeated instances of touchings, comments, statements, jokes, stories, descriptions and references to topics of a sexual nature that do not relate to the courses, labs, or other academic activities and that were directed at multiple individuals by the respondent over a period of many years,” the report stated.

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