The University of Minnesota confirmed Wednesday that “additional reports have been received” in relation to former athletic director Norwood Teague since his abrupt resignation on Aug. 7.
In a brief statement, the U said the new complaints had come in through EthicsPoint, a service it uses for confidential reporting. “Not all reports allege the same conduct,” the statement said, but it provided no further details, “in fairness to those who have reported and others who may do so.”
President Eric Kaler told Minnesota Public Radio on Wednesday that “less than five” sexual harassment complaints have been made against Teague since his resignation.
Teague resigned after admitting that he sexually harassed two co-workers during a July 14-16 senior leadership retreat at Breezy Point Resort in Pequot Lakes.
Kaler said an external investigator hired last week will review the complaints as part of an inquiry into the school’s athletic department.
Kaler declined an interview request by the Star Tribune on Wednesday.
State Sen. Terri Bonoff, who chairs the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, said she was “very shocked” when she heard Kaler’s comments, though she had expected there might be additional allegations.
“Even if you expect it, it’s a blow,” said Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka. “And now I want to know: Were any of them — God forbid — students? And I don’t have that answer yet.”
Generally, though, she said she’s satisfied with the university’s investigation. “I think they are doing their very best to dig deep into this and to turn over everything,” Bonoff said.
She is also examining with Senate counsel what new laws could better protect women coming forward with allegations, after reading a Star Tribune reporter’s account of being harassed by Teague.
Teague resigned amid revelations that he sexually harassed two high-level administrators, Erin Dady and Ann Aronson.
The university has hired two attorneys from the Minneapolis-based law firm Fredrikson & Byron — Karen Schanfield, an employment law expert, and Joe Dixon, a former assistant U.S. attorney — to investigate the athletic department. They will report to an independent oversight committee, which will include a member of the Board of Regents.
On Friday, Kaler retreated from comments he made during his announcement of Teague’s resignation, in which he suggested that the harassment occurred because Teague had been “overserved” alcohol.
And on Monday, the university said Teague failed to disclose that he was facing a gender discrimination complaint at his previous school, Virginia Commonwealth University, in 2012, at the time he was being recruited and after he was hired.
The U paid the Atlanta-based firm Parker Executive Search $112,539 in 2012 to find an athletic director and do background checks on leading candidates. Teague emerged as the only finalist for the job and took the position in April 2012. Asked Wednesday if he would use the Parker firm again, Kaler said it was “unlikely.”
The Star Tribune reported last week that VCU paid women’s basketball coach Beth Cunningham $125,000 in July 2012 to settle the complaint.
In November 2013, the U paid $175,000 to settle a gender discrimination complaint against Teague by Regina Sullivan, a senior associate athletic director who was fired by Teague in 2012.
Staff writer Maura Lerner contributed to this report.