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Professor accused of sexual assault resigns from UWL

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In a letter to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students and staff, Chancellor Joe Gow announced Art Professor and former Department Chair Joel Elgin has resigned.

“Rather than respond to a recently-completed investigative report into sexual harassment allegations, Elgin has indicated he is leaving UWL,” Gow said in the letter.

Elgin’s attorney canceled a meeting Tuesday that was meant to give the professor his legally required opportunity to respond to the conclusions in an investigative report over sexual misconduct allegations from a student, according to Gow.

Elgin received a copy of the report Nov. 22, and the declined meeting was intended as a chance to share his version of the story.

Gow stated he will share the investigative report, which was thorough and compelling enough to move the process of dismissing Elgin to the next phase.

“I firmly believe the testimony of the individuals interviewed by the investigators, and I thank them for their courage in coming forward to tell us about their experiences with Professor Elgin,” Gow wrote. “On behalf of our university, I apologize to them for what they have been subject to.”

Gow also recognized Wisconsin Public Records Law gives Elgin the chance to block the release of the report.

It is unclear if he will attempt to do so, though information about the investigation into Elgin’s conduct will be kept in his personnel file and be provided upon request to any institution where he may seek employment in the future.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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