Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

"This is what they allegedly did:" Report reveals more details about UWM employee sexual assault and harassment complaints

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A report sent over by UWM records custodian shows about 40 UWM employees were accused of sexual assault and/or harassment over the course of five years. 

This information first came to light after student journalists with Media Milwaukee filed open records requests back in January. On Tuesday, Student Jessica Rick got more information from the university detailing some of the specifics about the complaints. 

“I was kind of shocked to see what the specifics of the complaints were. I think it puts it more into perspective it’s not just an idea or an assumption, this is what they allegedly did," said Jessica Rick. 

According to UWM,  violations were found against 12 people, 11 of them were terminated or had already left the university. Chancellor Mark Mone released this statement, "UWM maintains its stance of taking sexual harassment and misconduct seriously and its commitment to ongoing actions to provide an environment free of such behaviors.”

These employees were student staff, professors, lecturers, instructional and non-instructional staff. The complaints range from inappropriate comments to sexual assault. 

Here is the data provided by UWM records custodian:

Rick and Talis Shelbourne said they plan on pressing the university to see the complaints and to get information.

“We got more information then we did the first time. We are focused on broadening the level of transparency from the university,” said Talis Shelbourne, journalism student. 

To see UWM's full statement, see below:

    "UWM takes allegations regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment very seriously. Complaints from students, employees and the public are investigated and, if a violation is found, appropriate disciplinary action is taken.  

    The allegations referenced in the Media Milwaukee story cover a span of five years and involve fewer than 40 employees. They are not representative of the vast majority of our 8,000 employees and student workers, who are dedicated to providing a high-quality education for all students.

    In most of the cases referenced in the story, an investigation determined that no violation of UWM’s Discriminatory Conduct Policy occurred. In cases where violations were found, 11 of the 12 employees were terminated or had already left UWM. According to the records provided to Media Milwaukee – and you can see the chart embedded in their story – one employee was disciplined but not terminated.   

    Please keep in mind that sexual misconduct complaints and violations can involve a range of behavior, and these investigations are not criminal investigations. In cases where allegations involve potentially criminal behavior, a separate police investigation may be conducted in addition to the internal investigation.

    I’d also note that all UWM employees and students must complete training regarding sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment. The training is aimed at raising awareness of the problem and encouraging students and employees to report potentially inappropriate behavior. We are committed to maintaining a safe, supportive and inclusive atmosphere on campus, and if there are incidents of misconduct, we want to know about them so that we can address them.   

    Chancellor Mark Mone reinforced the university’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for students and employees in an all-campus email in January.

    “UWM maintains its stance of taking sexual harassment and misconduct seriously and its commitment to ongoing actions to provide an environment free of such behaviors,” Mone said. “As no organization is immune from sexual harassment and misconduct, UWM has policies, procedures and services to address these issues. UWM’s Guiding Values include being ‘[a] caring, compassionate, and collegial community characterized by mutual respect and safety.’ Sexual assault and sexual harassment are directly contrary to this value.”

Share this article: