Advisory: Susan Steingass report and course of action
Aug. 30, 2005
Attorney Susan Steingass has submitted her report into allegations concerning Paul Barrows, former vice chancellor for student affairs at UW-Madison. Steingass delivered the report today (Aug. 30) to UW System President Kevin Reilly and UW-Madison Provost Peter Spear.
Steingass was asked to investigate all allegations of violations of applicable rules, policies and procedures on the part of Barrows related to his employment at UW-Madison, as well as the university's application of leave policies as they relate to Dr. Barrows.
Reilly and Spear will now review the report and make decisions on an appropriate course of action. Once the administrative review is completed and required notifications have been made, the report, related documents and the decisions on the case will be publicly released following the requirements of the Wisconsin public records law and other applicable privacy laws. Public records law requires the university to notify individuals named in documents that have resulted from an investigation into employment disciplinary matters before they are released and provides 10 business days for those named to file legal objections to the release. No documents can be released during that notice period.
Reilly and Spear expect this process to be complete by Sept. 23. Media information requests that were pending because of the investigation also will be released at that time. No comments will be made until then.
News reports and legislative inquiries began in June concerning a seven-month leave granted to Barrows, who used a combination of accrued sick leave and vacation time after leaving his post in November. Questions focused on the length and propriety of the leave, Barrows' pursuit of other jobs during the leave, as well as information that a failed relationship with a graduate student contributed to his resignation.
Steingass, a Madison attorney, UW-Madison law professor and former Dane County Circuit Judge, was asked June 30 to undertake the independent investigation. The scope of her review was confirmed by Spear July 8.