UNH investigation into faculty member concludes with resignation

Anna Kate Munsey

The University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) investigation into a faculty member’s alleged actions on social media is now over and the employee at the center of the investigation has resigned.   

“We appreciate your patience while the university conducted a thorough and fair investigation. That investigation is now complete,” President James Dean and Chief Diversity Officer Nadine Petty announced in an email Wednesday afternoon. 

The investigation was first announced in late September via Twitter. “We were recently made aware of allegations on social media about a member of our faculty. We are deeply troubled by what we’ve learned so far and immediately launched an investigation,” they wrote. 

Now, over four months since the initial announcement, the investigation is now over and the faculty member at the center of the investigation chose to resign. “While we are limited in what we can say in order to protect the privacy of all involved, we can share that the faculty member chose to resign when the university concluded that the conduct exhibited was not consistent with the university’s values and our expectation that every faculty member contribute to a professional academic environment free of intimidation and harassment,” Dean and Petty wrote. 

The statement did not identify the faculty member by name and did not specifically identify the conduct that led to their resignation.  

University spokeswoman Erika Mantz shared several statements with The New Hampshire throughout the investigation.  

On Nov. 10, 2020, she wrote, “The University of New Hampshire is committed to supporting and affirming the dignity of every member of its community as well to the fundamental principles of diversity, inclusion, equity and honest discussion. The scope of this investigation is extensive—multiple interviews and nearly 10,000 unique URLs— and the university is progressing as quickly as possible while still doing its due diligence.”  

On Jan. 27, she wrote, “While the investigation is still ongoing and there is no additional information we can share, we can confirm that the employee at the center of the allegations remains on leave and is not in the classroom.”  

Dean closed with, “UNH remains committed to the fundamental principles of diversity, inclusion and equity as well as the right to free speech. Our mission requires open and honest debate on difficult issues, and we will continue to create opportunities for dialogue as we move forward from this difficult situation.”