Sexual harassment allegations against UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband have ‘merit’

Sexual harassment allegations against UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband have ‘merit’

The sexual harassment allegations against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater chancellor’s husband have merit, Chancellor Beverly Kopper said Friday.

“I want to share with you a difficult situation for me personally and professionally,” Kopper said. “Although we typically do not discuss personnel issues publicly, I feel it is important to make this one exception, and I have UW System’s permission to do so.”

Kopper’s husband, Pete Hill, is the associate of the chancellor at UW-Whitewater, according to the release.

News 3 obtained records that report Hill is accused of sexually harassing multiple female employees. The allegations date back to 2015 and carry on through this year.

In one incident, he allegedly squeezed a woman’s knee under the tablecloth of a table where he was seated with Kopper. Other accusations include reports that Hill attempted to kiss a woman, grabbed a woman’s butt and whispered in a woman’s ear during an inappropriate bear hug.

Hill denied any wrongdoing through his attorney, according to the records.

A report from an outside investigator hired by the university said that Hill’s actions are considered sexual harassment under the school’s handbook. The report also said Hill created a hostile work environment while abusing a position of power.

Kopper said she fully supported and cooperated with UW System’s investigation. UW System President Ray Cross said in a statement Friday that Kopper has complied with recommended actions from the system’s independent investigation.

“I am confident the Chancellor will continue to make the well-being of the UW-Whitewater campus community a top priority,” Cross said in the statement.

UW System has ended Hill’s unpaid appointment and restricted him from attending UW-Whitewater’s events.

“As you can imagine, this is a challenging and unique set of circumstances for me as a wife, as a woman and as your chancellor. As your chancellor, I have worked diligently to ensure each of you has the supportive environment you need and deserve in which to do your amazing work,” Kopper said.