CCSU defends actions in 3rd professor accused of sexual misconduct
Officials at Central Connecticut State University are defending their actions after a third professor was accused of sexual misconduct, but a grievance process has allowed him to remain an employee of the school.
In a report released Monday, school officials acknowledged that they investigated a complaint brought by a female undergraduate who said Mathematical Sciences Associate Professor Mihai Bailesteanu subjected her to unwanted kissing and touching and asked inappropriate questions about her “sexual experiences.”
The complaint comes after it was revealed by the student newspaper “The Recorder” that school officials had received several similar complaints about Theater Professor Jeffrey Perlstein for years, but failed to take action.
The incidents occurred prior to Zulma Toro being appointed as president of the school. During the course of an investigation initiated by Toro, a second theater professor was also accused of similar behavior.
The report released Monday indicates that Bailesteanu told university investigators that it’s part of his Romanian culture to kiss and hug people and that the student who filed the complaint had pursued him and she had discussed her personal problems with him.
The school issued Bailesteanu a written reprimand and sought to not renew his teaching position, according to WFSB TV.
A grievance process however reversed the non-renewal, WFSB said. Toro said in a statement that the university took the claims seriously, completed a full investigation and wasn’t happy with the reversal of the non-renewal.
“My team and I took the appropriate actions related to Professor Bailesteanu’s violations. The decision by the Grievance Arbitration Committee is extremely frustrating to me,” Toro said in the statement given to WFSB. “But I pledge to you that I will continue to do what is right to protect our students, our faculty, and the entire Central family.”