Minnesota Paid $300K to Settle Harassment Allegations

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The University of Minnesota paid over $300,000 to two women to settle allegations of sexual harassment by former athletic director Norwood Teague.  

Two prominent women on current president Eric Kaler’s leadership team received separate payments in 2016 after Teague left Aug. 6, 2015. Teague’s resignation came after reports surfaced that he had drunkenly groped and sexually harassed two women that were not named at the time. He apologized for the “offensive behavior,” which included sending offensive texts to the women.

According to the Star Tribune, two women waived any legal claim they might have had against the school in exchange for financial payouts ranging from $50,000 to $181,630. The information comes after an information request was filed by the Star Tribune and The Wall Street Journal.

Erin Dady, special assistant to the president, and Ann Aronson, former deputy chief of staff in Kaler’s office, later identified themselves as the complainants in the case.  

The complaints of Dady and Aronson were not isolated incidents in Teague’s career, as his behavior resulted in multiple complaints that dated back to at least 2012. Minnesota paid $175,000 in 2013 to settle a complaint by former associate athletic director, Regina Sullivan, who alleged Teague had discriminated against her because of her gender.

Teague’s former employer, Virginia Commonwealth University, paid $125,000 to a former women’s basketball coach, who also claimed she was terminated because of her gender. Teague reportedly failed to mention the case when he was interviewed for the job at Minnesota.

In a statement, Teague blamed the incident with Dady and Aronson on having had too much to drink. Dady and Aronson refuted that in a statement of their own. “Sexual harassment is a predatory act. Having too much to drink does not excuse it,” they said in a joint public statement in 2015. “It’s a problem that continues to plague our institutions and our working lives despite programs and training designed to suppress it. The only way to eliminate it is to call attention to it when you see it or experience it.”

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