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Jeff Luzius fired as dean of University Libraries after sexual harassment complaints


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Dean of Libraries Jeff Luzius poses for a photo on March 29, 2017 on the fourth floor of the Charles V. Park Library. 

Dean of University Libraries Jeff Luzius was fired April 4 after Central Michigan University received sexual harassment complaints regarding his behavior. 

Luzius received a termination letter from Provost Michael Gealt on April 4. Central Michigan Life received a copy of the termination letter through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request.

In his letter, Gealt stated he and Luzius met on Aug. 23, 2017 to discuss “the findings and recommendations presented by the Office of Civil Rights & Institutional Equity (OCRIE) that followed from their investigation of a complaint about (Luizius') behavior at a local tavern.” OCRIE’s investigation did not find any violation of university policy from that incident. 

However, Gealt told Luzius he “expected that nothing like that would ever happen again.”

“The behavior you demonstrated in that incident is not what I expected of any CMU employee, let alone a senior officer such as yourself,” Gealt wrote.

Luzius, who was paid about $170,000 as dean, told Gealt he understood the expectation and it wouldn’t happen again, the provost wrote. 

Gealt then told Luzius he was made aware by OCRIE that on two other occasions after the August conversation, Luzius “behaved in an entirely unprofessional manner while acting in your capacity as the Dean of CMU Libraries, and on one of these occasions, the investigation by OCRIE found that your behavior constituted a violation of the university’s Sexual Harassment protocol.”

“That is totally unacceptable,” Gealt wrote.

Gealt stated that Luzius’ actions constituted “not only a material breach of trust and confidence, but a violation of university policy in a highly visible manner that caused, or may have caused, damage to the university’s reputation.”

Gealt then terminated Luzius’ employment with CMU after about a year on the job. Luzius began as dean of University Libraries in March 2017. 

On April 5, the university announced that Kathy Irwin would serve as the dean of University Libraries. The release stated that Irwin replaced Luzius but did not offer any reason for the change. When CM Life requested information from University Communications about Luzius, Director of Communications Heather Smith said the university does not discuss personnel matters.

The same day the university announced Irwin's promotion, CM Life submitted a public records request to the Office of General Counsel for Luzius’ personnel file.

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About Evan Sasiela

Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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