Schapiro discusses Polisky’s resignation at Faculty Assembly meeting
University president Morton Schapiro discussed Mike Polisky’s promotion and resignation as sports director and his hopes for future leadership at a faculty assembly meeting on Wednesday.
Schapiro spoke in the second half of the meeting, after a panel discussion on Northwestern’s fall reopening plans. President of the Faculty Senate Therese McGuire moderated the conversation by asking questions of Schapiro submitted in advance by the faculty.
McGuire said many of the questions submitted concerned Polisky, who has been named a defendant in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit over NU’s cheerleading program.
“The allegations by current former cheerleaders of racism and sexism were very sad and painful,” McGuire said.
As the AD search committee assembled a list of candidates for the post, Schapiro said he ultimately chose Polisky and had “full authority” over the call.
In addition to college coach approvals, Schapiro said his choice was driven by an independent university. investigation this concluded that Polisky had not violated any policies and no conversations with Polisky himself during the hiring process.
“If he had said, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong,’ I wouldn’t have offered it, but he said, ‘I learned from the experience and I’m sorry. “Schapiro said.” I believe now in retrospect it didn’t work and I made, like I said, the wrong decision. “
McGuire raised questions about why Schapiro chose Polisky when the list of candidates allegedly included women and people of color who were athletic directors at other universities.
Schapiro said he believed, at the time, that Polisky was best suited for the job.
“I believe in various lists, I’m very supportive of that – that doesn’t mean you never hire the white man if you think he’s the best candidate,” Schapiro said.
Asked how NU plans to make survivors of sexual harassment feel comfortable moving forward without fear of retaliation or callous administrative responses, Schapiro said the Equity Office, the Office of the Legal Counsel and the Student Affairs Division are always available resources.
McGuire also asked Schapiro if he believed the women involved in the trial were telling the truth about the racism and sexism they faced. Although he could not comment on the ongoing litigation, Schapiro said he was “horrified” when several sources alleged anti-black racism and harassment in February. investigation published by The Daily.
“Bad things happened there,” Schapiro said. “Obviously we should have known, we should have answered.”
McGuire turned to faculty questions about the University’s hiring priorities for the future. While not directly involved in hiring professors, Schapiro said the university was emerging from the pandemic in a strong financial position and plans to hire more professors in various departments and schools.
The University is also considering transforming the Donald P. Jacobs Center in “the social science center of our dreams,” Schapiro said. He added that in meetings with his predecessor’s research committee, he stressed the importance of humanities to campus culture.
“I’m optimistic that when these hundreds of new faculty join us over the next two years… it will be in the traditional areas that will make a great research university,” Schapiro said. “I think it’s just a very bad decision to restrict your focus.”
E-mail: [email protected]
– Trustees discuss plans to reopen and end testing mandate for vaccinated people at Faculty Assembly meeting
– In the wake of Mike Polisky’s resignation, members of the Northwest community call for continued investigation, scrutiny in search of new AD
– Graduate students call for transparency and community engagement in Presidential Research Committee listening forum