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Uncovering sexual harassment reports on Wisconsin campuses

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel filed open records requests with the University of Wisconsin system to learn how employee sexual misconduct allegations have been handled. According to a recent article, the newspaper learned that there have been nearly 100 complaints of sexual harassment or assault have been formally investigated since 2014.

The complaints span the system's 13 four-year schools and 13 two-year colleges. The investigations were of staff members who teach, supervise or advise staff. Not all university staff were covered by the open records request.

Investigations were launched into allegations that a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay art instructor forced students to wear two-piece swimsuits and that a coach there sent inappropriate texts to a student.

UW-Oshkosh investigated rumors that an instructor violated policy by having a consensual relationship with a student and then harassing the student when she tried to end the relationship.

The article states that on the campuses excluding Madison and Milwaukee, the more than half the complaints involved allegations of instructors or professors sexually harassing students.

The nearly 100 investigations don't include allegations by people who wanted to remain anonymous, those who did not file formal complaints and those who pursued informal complaints of harassment, assault or other misconduct.

A spokesperson for UW-Madison acknowledged to the paper that sexual harassment is widely underreported on its campus. The campus that conducted the most formal investigations was UW-Milwaukee: 14.

If you have been harassed in a university setting or in the workplace, speak to an attorney experienced in employment law litigation.

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