NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) – A third Central Connecticut State University professor is accused of violating student sexual misconduct policy.
An investigation was started after a female student claimed a mathematics professor made “unwelcome romantic and sexual advances” towards her.
The report identifies the man as Mihai Bailesteanu, a Mathematical Science Associate Professor at CCSU.
The student stated that Bailesteanu subjected her to “unwelcome romantic advances and inappropriate physical contact including, but not limited to, kissing her on the cheek and forehead and hugging her on numerous occasions.”
She also alleged that Bailesteanu asked her questions about her sexual experiences, including whether or not she was a virgin, and if she used birth control.
The student reported incidents to the chief diversity officer at CCSU.
The first incident of sexual misconduct was reported in Oct. 2017.
There are reports of incidents from Oct. 2017 until Apr. 2018
In the report, Bailesteanu, originally from Romania, claims that that kissing women on the cheek and forehead are culture norms for him.
It was found that both the CCSU non-discrimination in Education & Employment and the BOR/CCSU Sexual Misconduct policies had been violated.
The university issued a written reprimand and a notice of non-renewal to Bailesteanu.
According to CCSU President Dr. Zulma L. Toro, the non-renewal of Bailesteanu was overturned by the Grievance Arbitration Committee.
The grievance process related to the reprimand is still ongoing.
Bailesteanu was a finalist for Central Connecticut’s Excellence in Teaching Award, but that has been rescinded.
Toro said the school is taking steps to make changes in the process to ensure this is not repeated.
She said the faculty members who evaluate nominations were not aware of Bailesteau’s situation.
This is the third professor at CCSU accused of sexual misconduct.
The first professor, Joshua Perlstein, was a theater professor.
The second was Thomas Delventhal, also a theater professor.
Toro has released a statement on Bailesteau, which reads:
"Dear Central Family,
There are media reports today that would lead you to believe that this University did not take seriously a student’s complaint of sexual assault by Mathematics professor Mihai Bailesteanu. This is wholly untrue.
We aggressively investigated the claims, found that both the CCSU Non-discrimination in Education & Employment and the BOR/CSCU Sexual Misconduct policies had been violated, and issued a written reprimand and a notice of non-renewal to the professor. Professor Bailesteanu grieved our actions.
The non-renewal of Professor Bailesteanu was overturned by the Grievance Arbitration Committee (see attachment), which is comprised of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Vice President for Human Resources Steven Weinberger, who serves as the BOR president’s designee, and Gregg D. Adler, the CSU-AAUP president’s designee.
The grievance process related to the written reprimand is still ongoing.
Concerns raised that the professor was a finalist (although briefly) for a teaching award are understandable, and we have already made changes in the process to ensure this is not repeated. The faculty members who evaluate the Excellence in Teaching nominations were not aware of Professor Bailesteanu’s situation. As soon as the details were made known to them, they swiftly reevaluated the list of finalists and, this morning, announced a revised list of finalists. In the future, the list of award candidates will undergo scrutiny by the Provost before being announced to the campus.
My team and I took the appropriate actions related to Professor Bailesteanu’s violations. The decision by the Grievance Arbitration Committee is extremely frustrating to me, but I pledge to you that I will continue to do what is right to protect our students, our faculty, and the entire Central family."
To read the full report, click here.