NEW BRITAIN -Central Connecticut State University will host a forum Tuesday for students and staff on sexual misconduct allegations against a theater professor reported in the school’s student newspaper.
“Following the report of alleged sexual misconduct by one of our faculty, it has become quite apparent to me that we have some work to do on our campus,” said CCSU President Zulma Toro in an email to students and staff. “It must start with honest and open communication.”
Toro asked the campus to join her Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the Constitution Room at the school to hear updates on the investigations into the behavior of Professor Jeffrey Perlstein, who several former students say sexually harassed them with unwanted advances and touching.
The allegations were first reported last Monday in the online edition of The Recorder.
The managing editor of the paper, Ruth Bruno, wrote the story after a roughly six-month investigation.
Perlstein was placed on paid leave Wednesday, the same day the paper’s print version hit the stands.
Toro told her administrative staff on last Tuesday to investigate the claims. The school has also hired an independent Hartford law firm to conduct an investigation.
At least two former students and one faculty member told Bruno that Perlstein had made off-color remarks or inappropriately kissed and touched them. One woman told Bruno she had declined to be stage manager of a production after Perlstein had behaved inappropriately with her.
Bruno found that the school disciplined Perlstein in 2004 after a student filed a complaint that Perlstein had kissed her and grabbed her buttocks during what she presumed was a meeting about her future employment options.
Perlstein has been a tenured professor at CCSU since 1998. He was making $97,000 a year when he was placed on leave.
Toro told staff and students in the email that an update into the investigations would be provided during Tuesday’s forum and that a moderator would field questions.