Juilliard Fires Professor Accused of Sexually Harassing Students

The Juilliard School has been accused of sexually harassing students after an independent investigation found “credible evidence” of misconduct in letters to students, staff, faculty and alumni. It announced Thursday that it has fired the accused composition professor.

The Juilliard School said Professor Robert Beeser, 69, head of composition from 1994 to 2018, acted “inconsistently with the Juilliard School’s commitment to providing students with a safe and supportive learning environment.” said he took it. The school did not provide further details, saying only that the investigation found evidence of a previous “unreported relationship” and that Beeser “repeatedly misrepresented the facts about his own actions.” .

Beeser’s attorney, Richard C. Schoenstein, denied that his client misled his employer. He said the relationship in question occurred 30 years ago, has been known to Juilliard ever since, and has been the subject of investigations for some time. He said the school’s findings were “non-specific and unattributable” and that Beeser would “fully pursue his legal rights.”

“Dr. Beeser is shocked and dismayed by Juilliard’s conclusions and actions,” Schoenstein said.

This survey investigation In December 2022, the classical music magazine VAN detailed accusations against Beeser and other Juilliard music composition teachers. VAN, citing interviews with anonymous former students, said Beeser made unwanted advances and engaged in sexual relations with the students.

The accusations sparked outcry not only among prominent figures, but also among students, faculty, and alumni. composer and musician. Juilliard gave Beeser paid time off during the investigation.

Juilliard University said it also investigated charges against another professor named in the VAN investigation, Christopher Rouse. The school also found these allegations credible, but said it was unable to fully investigate the allegations due to Rouse’s death in 2019.

In a Thursday letter, Juilliard said its administrators previously investigated some sexual misconduct allegations in the late 1990s and early 2000s and again in 2017-18. The school said these inquiries were “processed on the basis of our understanding of the information provided at the time.”

Juilliard University said it directed the study because of new information in the press and said it found that “some students, especially women, experienced an environment within their department that did not align with the school’s values ​​and expectations.” I did,” he said.

Leaders at the Juilliard School said they were “appalled by the negative impact” the events had on their students. They have vowed to take measures such as banning all sexual relations between students and professors from this fall and to strengthen supervision. While it has long been forbidden for professors to have romantic relationships with undergraduates, the school sometimes allowed exceptions for relationships between faculty and graduate students.

Juilliard said it would also seek to clarify channels for reporting harassment and prejudice.

“Juilliard is committed to providing a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for all members of the school community and addressing past and present concerns,” the letter reads. “Discrimination or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and we take all reported allegations seriously.”

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