Once she came to Rochester, Kidd claims in the complaint, Jaeger insisted she rent a room from him because he didn’t like living alone and couldn’t afford it. Kidd says he made regular explicit comments to her, including describing the taste of one of his graduate students’ vaginas and making guesses about how Kidd’s ex-partner’s ethnicity corresponded to his penis size.
At conferences, Jaeger allegedly had Kidd drive him to and from sexual trysts.
The University of Rochester’s policy on student-faculty relationships is murky, as are many such policies; it’s a notoriously difficult area to legislate.
Though there is much debate over the propriety of professor–grad student sex, most university handbooks—including UR’s—include statements that submit consensual relationships with any “power differential” to stricter scrutiny than those between peers and explicitly forbid sexual relationships between professors and the students they directly teach or advise.
When Kidd hosted a prospective graduate student at the university, Jaeger allegedly told Kidd he felt a “connection” with the student and asked Kidd to arrange for the two of them to meet alone; when she refused, Kidd says, he told her she had a “professional obligation” to go along because his research aligned closely with that of the recruit’s.
Once, when Kidd was on a date, Jaeger allegedly showed up uninvited and told the date that Kidd needed to have sex because she was too “tightly wound.” Kidd told me that she knew Jaeger’s behavior was harassment from her first interview with him but that she didn’t want to be labeled “a complainer” before she had proved her worth to the department.
“As a mentor, you want to do everything you can to help your students be able to focus on this very difficult ask of learning these highly technical skills that are required to be successful in science.
But at this point, the employees who filed the EEOC complaint have exhausted UR’s options for filing misconduct allegations—the university’s internal investigation found that Jaeger did not violate any university policies—and believe the process is riddled with conflicts of interests that preclude a just conclusion.Kidd first met Jaeger in early 2007, when he interviewed the then-undergraduate for a spot in the graduate program, and immediately witnessed what she believes to be inappropriate behavior.The EEOC complaint alleges that during that recruitment process, Kidd watched Jaeger kissing and “groping” a fellow graduate recruit at a conference; that she received Facebook messages from him that said he’d like to listen to her read him a manuscript while he’d “lie lazily on the couch” and she “paced around occasionally in front of the fire”; and that she learned from him that he attended naked hot tub parties with graduate students.So the complainants aren’t asking for his termination or censure.Instead, they’re pushing for a complete overhaul of the system by which the university arbitrates sexual harassment claims.
(De Angelis also did not respond to a request for comment.) But other senior faculty members weren’t made aware of the allegations against Jaeger until much later.