- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Human Rights Bureau will hear next week a sexual-harassment complaint filed by a Montana State University-Northern dean that accuses the school’s former provost of inappropriate touching.

Randy Bachmeier, the dean of extended studies, says in his complaint former provost Rosalyn Templeton inappropriately touched his leg, arm, shoulder and back several times between 2010 and 2013.

Templeton denied the allegations in documents related to the investigation that were obtained by the Havre Daily News (https://bit.ly/1ubSMoL ). She said she used touching to communicate with others, such as a pat on the arm or back, but said it was not sexual.

“The touching is a means of providing a sense of reassurance or comfort,” Templeton’s statement said.

A human rights bureau investigator found sufficient evidence to proceed with the complaint, and a hearing will be held at the Havre campus beginning Monday.

The investigator also found that university officials may have retaliated against Bachmeier’s complaint, which was filed in May 2013, by passing him over when Templeton resigned in August.

The Montana Board of Regents is representing Northern in the case. Regents spokesman Kevin McRae said the university’s own investigation found no wrongdoing and the school refutes the charges.

“We believe we can show that the Montana State University-Northern work environment, including the environment for Mr. Bachmeier, is a nondiscriminatory, reasonable, appropriate environment that he has worked in the past and continues to work in,” McRae said.

Bachmeier alleges in the documents that Templeton at different times rubbed his upper leg with her palm, stroked his arm in a sexual manner and touched his shoulders and back inappropriately.

He said he asked her to stop and went out of his way to avoid her.

The university did not publicly release a reason for Templeton’s resignation in August.

Another dean suggested Bachmeier as a candidate to replace Templeton, but Chancellor Jim Limbaugh allegedly said “It wouldn’t look good for someone who had filed a complaint to get the position,” the investigator’s report said.

Limbaugh denied making the statement.

The vacancy announcement allowed only those candidates who were full professors, which Bachmeier was not. Limbaugh said the requirement came after a discussion between himself and Montana State University President Waded Cruzado.

___

Information from: Havre Daily News, https://www.havredailynews.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide