University of Michigan Computer Science Professor Resigns After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Walter Lasecki, a professor of computer science and engineering programs at UM, will retire from his position on August 30, officials said. Michael Wellman, chairman and professor of the CSE department, sent an email to CSE faculty, postdocs, and graduate students on May 28, and Lasecki cannot immediately meet and interact directly with UM students. Said.

Lasecki reportedly participated in unwanted advances such as groping and harassment at social gatherings and industry conferences.

“The bottom line is that our systems aren’t working well, and we need to work together to improve them,” Wellman states. “It means an argument that shares moral status with goals but does not always agree.”

According to Wellman, a July 2020 investigation by UM’s Institutional Investment Department determined that Lasecki was not sexually harassing and did not violate the university’s sexual harassment policy. From his experience on several issues, OIE investigators are professional and seek the truth, Wellman wrote.

However, an independent investigation by the Research Group Association for Computer Machinery after the OIE investigation revealed that Laseki was cheating and banned ACM from attending events for five years. Wellman said he knew about the ACM investigation, but the organization had not notified him or any of the UM personnel.

At the end of the letter, Wellman asked Laseki to explain his actions to the CSE and the wider community as a way to help heal. Wellman also asked the CSE to learn from this situation. Called to investigate the handling of OIE fraud investigations.

Wellman describes OIE as “keeping as transparent as possible about what you have learned.” “I know there are important limitations to this, but given the urgent interests at stake and the environment in which we are located, we broaden our policy rationally and creatively. Please consider the method. “

We call on the academic community and UM to take the following steps in response to the Lasecki incident:

  • An independent body that reviews UM’s OIE process.
  • Other universities and faculties are committed to investigating their own reporting policies and practices and addressing sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
  • A professional association that monitors, aggregates, and responds to reports of sexual misconduct at events.
  • A professional association that forms a group of trained student and faculty allies, informed to participants who have less access to networked power sources.
  • Professional associations should stop serving alcohol at official events.

Lasecki was not the first faculty member to be accused of sexual misconduct in the CSE program.

In February 2020, Jason Mraz, an assistant professor of computer science, Resigned from his position After the company’s management was alleged to behave inappropriately by Mars, he became CEO of Ann Arbor-based AI startup Clinic. According to Fitzgerald, he hasn’t left the UM position at that time and his employment situation hasn’t changed.

January 2021 Professor of Computer Science Peter Chen on leave After being arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a child. A university official said in a statement that his obligations for the winter semester of 2021 have been reassigned.

Last year, UM also dealt with high-profile cases of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse. Former Provost Martin Philbert And Sexual abuse by late-life athletic doctor Robert Anderson.

According to another report from Washington, DC-based law firm Wilmer Hale, university officials were aware of Philbert and Anderson’s misconduct but took no immediate action.