Report: Evidence shows husband of UW-Whitewater chancellor sexually harassed at least 7 women
WHITEWATER — The University of Wisconsin System released on Friday, April 19 its complete investigation into claims that Pete Hill, the husband of former UW-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper, sexually harassed students or employees at the university.
According to the summary in the report, “there is credible evidence that Pete Hill engaged in sexual harassment of both employees, and students (who were either employed directly by UWW or by companies that contracted with UWW) and that these incidents occurred, mainly, on campus or UWW-related properties, like the Chancellor’s residence during official events.”
The investigation identified at least seven and potentially up to ten women who claimed they were sexually harassed by Hill.
Meanwhile, the report says no witness “provides direct evidence that Chancellor Kopper knew of, or facilitated Hill’s improper behavior.” Also, there is no evidence Kopper “obstructed or interfered with the investigation” and did not retaliate against women who made claims of harassment against Hill.
The investigation indicates four points stand out from the interview with Chancellor Kopper:
- Chancellor Kopper did not know whether Pete Hill completed sexual harassment awareness training…as part of routine employee training in 2018.
- Chancellor Kopper took no steps to inform herself about the allegations other than to be satisfied with Hill’s denial of allegations.
- Chancellor Kopper claims not to have discussed the allegations with Hill.
- Chancellor Kopper took 84 days after learning from President Cross that Hill was banned from UWW to inform her cabinet and the campus of the news.
Kopper resigned as chancellor at the end of 2018. She submitted her resignation to UW System President Ray Cross on Dec. 6, 2018, writing that she knows the Board of Regents wants different leadership at UW-Whitewater.
The UW System released on Friday the following statement on this matter:
“When allegations of sexual misconduct were identified at UW-Whitewater, President Ray Cross immediately called for investigations and aggressively acted upon information. After he was briefed on the findings of this report, he counseled Chancellor Kopper to resign. She did, and the report speaks for itself.
“Under President Cross, the UW System has reinforced our national leadership role in combatting sexual misconduct by implementing practices to prevent sexual violence and harassment and instituting groundbreaking employment policy to prevent what is known as “pass the harasser.'”