More than 160 pages of documents have been released in connection with the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations made against a Central Connecticut State University professor who is on paid leave from his position.
The school and an independent law firm are investigating allegations made against Professor Joshua Perlstein, which include claims of improper advances toward a former student in 2004.
CCSU Tuesday released 168 pages of documents, including transcripts of emails between alleged victims and school officials, Facebook conversations, formal investigation reports from the university, letters to and from university officials, and other relevant documents, that detail the investigations into complaints from a CCSU staff member who accused Perlstein of harassment, bullying, discrimination based on her gender, and retaliation.
After one complaint from that staff member, which was filed in 2010, school officials sent Perlstein a letter recommending that he be “sensitive to other’s feelings and consider how they might react to something you say before you say it” to “(l)isten more than you talk,” not make “off-color jokes,” as well as other recommendations.
The documents reveal that the staff member claimed she eventually resigned from her position due to the alleged harassment. After an investigation, a diversity officer issued a report in 2013 concluding they found no policy violation.
The documents also include a complaint from a different female staff member in 2016, who claimed that Perlstein made repeated directed comments about her political affiliates that made her uncomfortable.
“It is likely that we will never know or understand all the circumstances that led to some of the past decisions that were made in reference to Professor Joshua Perlstein. After reading documents recently discovered as part of our investigation into Professor Perlstein, I fully believe there are a number of incidents I would have handled quite differently had I been leading the University at the time,” CCSU president Zulma Toro said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The university has a Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Campus Climate, which met in May and meets again today.
“It remains clear to me that we need to fix communication breakdowns and hold people accountable for their actions and others for their apparent lack of responsiveness. I am confident that the special team I brought in from the outside to thoroughly investigate reported behaviors by Professor Perlstein and the comprehensive review being conducted by the task force I appointed, will serve to inform our next steps in assuring our students, faculty, and staff that CCSU is a safe, welcoming environment for all,” Torro said in a statement.
Perlstein remains on administrative leave.
In April, Perlstein said by email that he is “cooperating fully with the University.” NBC Connecticut reached out to him again Tuesday and there was no immediate response.