MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The University of Minnesota will launch an outside investigation of its athletic department and its former director who resigned because of sexual harassment complaints, a school official said Tuesday.
Former Athletic Director Norwood Teague resigned last week, triggering reports that he groped two female employees, made inappropriate comments and sent lewd text messages. A third woman, a reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune who covers Gophers basketball, later came forward with her personal story about Teague’s sexual harassment in separate incidents in 2013.
The school’s Board of Regents and President Eric Kaler agreed Tuesday to hire an outside attorney to determine whether Teague sexually harassed other women and to evaluate the culture inside the department after Teague’s three-year tenure, board chair Dean Johnson said.
A separate audit will examine whether any school funds have been misspent. Johnson said they have no indication as to whether the athletics director improperly used school funds on travel and other expenses, but it’s a necessary step to restore confidence in the school.
”Just by the behavior of Mr. Teague, it brings some questions and uncertainty. We want to get the answers,” he said.
KSTP-TV first reported the investigation. Johnson said the school aims to hire outside investigators within the next month, and guessed the review may take three months to a half-year to complete.