Former Associate Dean of Students Shawn Wilson was accused of sexually harassing a female employee who worked for a business in the Dreyfus University Center of the University of Wisconsin in August 2015, according to the Stevens Point Journal. Wilson was hired at Knox College in January 2016 and served as the Deputy Title IX coordinator until September 2016.
Vice President for Communications Megan Scott declined to comment to the Stevens Point Journal on the reasons for Wilson’s departure from Knox or whether or not the college was aware of past misconduct during the hiring process. She did state that the college does background and reference checks before hiring.
“In general, if the College was made aware of a past sexual harassment complaint during the hiring process, we would not hire that individual to be associated with our Title IX team,” Scott said in an email to the Steven Point Journal.
Wilson handled sexual and behavioral misconduct complaints as former Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator during his time at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. An investigation conducted by UWSP reportedly revealed “a pattern of unprofessional conduct towards employees of the unnamed business before August 2015, when an incident was reported during move-in weekend at the university. Wilson denied all accusations during an interview with UWSP Associate Vice Chancellor for Personnel, Budget and Grants Katie Jore, who headed the investigation.
The incident, which occurred during the weekend of Aug. 29, 2015 was initially reported on Sept. 11, 2015. Wilson was placed on paid administrative leave on Sept. 14, 2015 by Provost Greg Summers and submitted a letter of resignation a month later.
Jore made her final report on Oct. 12, 2015 to UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson. According to the report, Wilson would use “coarse or vulgar language” when talking with employees of the unnamed business in the Dreyfus University Center.
The woman involved in the August 2015 incident told Jore in her interview that Wilson asked if she could go home with him, despite being told she was married.
“What I really want to do is bend you over and show you a good time. you would be my firework and I would explode all over you,” Wilson said, according to interview between the woman and investigators. She replied: “I don’t know what to say to that.”
While there were no witnesses to the August 2015 incident, Jore stated that the woman’s coworkers “at lest that (the employee, whose name was redacted in the released records) was visibly upset after returning from this alleged interaction and who heard her recounting of the incident the next morning.”
In his interview with the UWSP investigators, Wilson denied the accusations and stated that on the morning of the incident they had a “casual interaction,” discussing her dress and how long she would be working.
Wilson was hired at Knox College after resigning from UWSP, where he worked for 9 months before leaving. He was later hired at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as Interim Assistant Dean of Students in August 2017. Serving as Deputy Title IX Coordinator was included in this position. Wilson’s time working for UW-Eau Claire was brief before UW-Stevens Point officials learned he was hired. He resigned from UW-Eau Claire on Nov. 1, 2017.
Jore told the Stevens Point Journal that Knox College and UW-Eau Claire spoke with Wilson’s supervisor from UW-Stevens Point, claimed that the sexual harassment complaints were not mentioned.
TKS will continue to investigate the situation as it develops.
Vice President of Communications Megan Scott commented on the allegations of sexual harassment regarding former Associate Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Shawn Wilson prior to his time serving the Knox community.
“We do not comment on personnel issues regarding current or former employees,” Scott told TKS through email. “I can tell you that Knox College follows a standard hiring protocol for all employees, which includes reference and background checks. If the college was made aware of a past sexual harassment complaint during the hiring process, we would not hire that individual to be associated with our Title IX team.”
Scott spoke on behalf of both Title IX Coordinator Kim Schrader and Vice President of Student Development Anne Ehrlich. Interim Dean of the College Michael Schneider declined to comment on the allegations made towards Wilson.