Though James Peterson, a former professor of English and the former director of Africana studies program, resigned over two years ago, many university members are still recovering from Lehigh's handling of the scandal.

The Timeline of the James Peterson Investigation

  • Feb. 2017

    ◦ Two sexual assault complaints against James Peterson, a former professor in English and the former director of the Africana studies program, are fielded by a mandatory reporter

    Source: Two professors and a former senior administrator in the College of Arts and Sciences

  • March 2017

    ◦ Title IX Coordinator Karen Salvemini and George Nation, a professor in the finance department and the faculty co-investigator, open an investigation into the Feb. 2017 reports

    ◦ Lori Friedman, director of media relations, confirmed that the provost is aware of the investigation at the onset

    Sources: Court document, letter from Salvemini to certain victims

  • April 4, 2017

    ◦ President John Simon posts a photo, which shows Peterson as a member of Simon's "faculty cabinet"

    Source: Simon's Instagram

  • May 12, 2017

    ◦ Peterson is promoted to full professor following a year-long process

    ◦ The provost is part of the approval process

    Source: Dawn Keetley, chair of the English department

  • Sept. 2017

    ◦ A sexual assault complaint is filed against Peterson*

    *Lehigh Office of General Counsel confirms complaint is against Peterson in email sent to certain faculty members

    Source: Office of Civil Rights Complaint

  • Oct. 2017

    ◦ Salvemini and Nation close the March investigation, based on different conclusions*

    *Former CAS senior administrator and a professor confirm the differing conclusions as the reason for the investigation's conclusion

    Sources: Court document, letter sent from Salvemini to certain victims

  • Early Nov. 2017

    ◦ LUPD opens an investigation into Peterson

    Source: Court document

  • Nov. 7, 2017

    ◦ An unnamed faculty member is suspended and placed on paid leave due to "sexual and other misconduct"* according to an email by the provost's office

    ◦ This was the first public announcement of an investigation

    *Salvemini's letter to certain victims later confirmed university found evidence for "sexual assault" and "sexual exploitation"

    Source: Email from Provost's Office

  • Nov. 14, 2017

    ◦ LUPD concludes its investigation

    ◦ Salvemini and Nation "reopen" the March investigation

    Source: Court document

  • Jan. 4, 2018

    ◦ Salvemini and Nation conclude their investigation

    ◦ The report is given to the provost for review

    Source: Letter sent from Salvemini to certain victims

  • Jan. 16, 2018

    ◦ Lehigh announces Peterson's resignation

    ◦ The provost found "sufficient cause" to terminate Peterson's employment

    ◦ Lehigh claimed that Peterson resigned before the provost finished review

    Sources: Letter sent from Salvemini to certain victims

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