15:08, February 21 373 0 abajournal.com

2018-02-21 15:08:04
NKU law dean who resigned amid harassment complaints set to return in fall as a professor

A full-time employee and two student workers, all of whom are female, filed written complaints about Standen in November, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Among the allegations from one of the women are that he looked down her dress on various occasions and frequently adjusted his crotch in front of her. Another said he repeatedly asked for hugs; all three say he often commented on what female employees wore.

One of the women said that on the days that they wore leggings, dresses or skirts to work, Standen would ask them to do things like arrange his bookshelves or fix a ceiling vent, the Enquirer reported. Another female employee described Standen as condescending. Other witnesses told university investigators that he made female students pick up pencils or other objects he dropped.

The investigation was handled by the school’s Title IX coordinators, according to the Northerner, an independent news organization at the university. The Enquirer reports that on Dec. 7, university officials issued a report finding there was not enough evidence Standen’s conduct amounted to sexual harassment, but they did find “sufficient evidence to support a finding of an unhealthy culture of fear, intimidation and bullying.” According to the article, the university found that Standen violated the university’s ethical responsibilities policy.

Standen resigned as dean Dec. 8, and the next week Sue Ott Rowlands, the university’s provost, offered him a full-time teaching position in the fall, which he accepted, the Enquirer reports. His annual salary as a professor will be almost $222,000, which is the highest of any professor at the university, according to the Enquirer.

The Northerner reports that Standen’s resignation is effective June 1, and that he has been on a leave of absence since November 2017. The leave is scheduled to run until the end of May.

Standen did not respond to an ABA Journal request for comment. He told the Enquirer that some of the allegations were “defamatory and false,” but would not say which ones.

“I am demanding of my co-workers, much as I am of myself,” Standen wrote in an email to the paper. “I was informed by university officials that it was the perception of hostility, and not hostility itself, that led to complaints. At no time did I ever intentionally act with anger toward my co-workers.”

Standen joined NKU as its law school dean in July 2013, according to the Lane Report, after serving as a professor and associate dean for faculty at Oregon’s Willamette University College of Law. Standen, a University of Virginia School of Law graduate, previously worked at Hunton & Williams, and served one year as a deputy general counsel with the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Standen’s recent scholarship includes articles about sports and legal education trends, according to his NKU page.