Two letters posted to the InsideHigherEd website Monday afternoon outline the university's response to the allegations. The names of the couple who filed the complaint have been redacted.
According to a July 22, 2013, letter from Provost Joseph Saliba to the professors, "Diaz was sexually harassing you through various requests and references to explicitly sexual feelings." In the letter, Saliba thanks the professors for bringing the matter to the school's attention so it could be fully investigated and addressed, and he reminds them of the importance of confidentiality.
The university, he said in the posted letter, is mindful of obligations under the law, "but above and beyond what the law requires, we are very concerned about any behavior that appears to be inconsistent with our Marianist values."
The letters were posted by InsideHigherEd.com the week after more than 100 tenured faculty at UD cast ballots of "no confidence" in Saliba during a symbolic vote called by a group of faculty members. The group was complaining about administrative and governance issues, said Rebecca Wells, associate professor of marketing. Of 313 tenured faculty who were eligible to vote, 160 cast ballots.
Teri Rizvi, executive director of strategic communications at UD, would not directly address the letters involving Diaz and said she would not release documents from any Title IX case.
"The University is prohibited by federal law from discussing the details of Title IX cases. The University complies fully with Title IX, investigates promptly and thoroughly all complaints and takes appropriate remedial action," Rizvi said. "We do not tolerate sexual discrimination or harassment of any form."
An investigation conducted by outside counsel found reasonable cause to believe that "based upon the preponderance of evidence" federal law and university policy were violated, Saliba's letter said. "Dr. Diaz created a hostile environment by engaging in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, particularly after being told to stop," the letter says.
A second letter, also posted to InsideHigherEd.com is from Mary Ann Poirier, general counsel for UD. The letter says outside counsel interviewed the professors, Diaz and Diaz's wife, reviewed documents from both sides and provided information to an independent medical expert with "considerable experience in dealing with issues of sexual abuse and harassment to obtain advice regarding possible remedial actions."
To remedy the situation, Saliba's letter said, Diaz is to avoid contact with the two professors unless they voluntarily and in writing request to re-establish the friendship. He was also prohibited from direct or indirect input - either positive or negative - in the professors' employment, performance, service or any other involvement at UD or elsewhere.