Following the resignation of former athletics director Norwood Teague August 7 due to two complaints of sexual harassment, the University of Minnesota announced Friday it has hired legal counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the school.
Karen G. Schanfield of the law firm Fredrikson & Byron P.A. has been retained and will work with her partner Joseph T. Dixon, a former U.S. attorney.
The two will investigate all allegations of sexual harassment against Teague, review the hiring process that brought Teague to Minnesota and whether the University knew or should have known about instances of sexual harassment earlier. The investigation will also assess the athletic department’s overall culture when it comes to sexual harassment.
“These external and independent experts will help ensure we fully address any allegations of sexual harassment involving our previous leadership in Gopher Athletics, and will help strengthen the climate in Intercollegiate Athletics,” University President Eric Kaler said in a statement.
The pair will provide periodic reports to the Board of Regents and a written report to Kaler.
The athletic department will also receive a full audit, with a focus on the information surrounding Teague.
Two women harassed by Teague come forward
The two women who filed the complaints of sexual harassment against Teague that led to his resignation have named themselves.
The women are Ann Aronson and Erin Dady, who are both members of Kaler’s senior leadership team.
The pair initially wished to remain confidential, but Teague released an email detailing that his advances took place at a senior leadership retreat, making it easier for people to discover who the women were.
“In sharing our story today, we hope to make it easier for those who experience sexual harassment and assault to come forward,” the two women said in a statement. “We stand with them.”
The two women ask the public to respect their privacy at this time.
“I applaud the courageousness of Ann and Erin in this very difficult situation,” Kaler said in a statement. “They have placed their own personal privacy at risk to prevent this from happening to others. They and anyone who bravely faced sexual harassment and assault should be supported and considered role models by all of us.”