NEW BRITAIN - Central Connecticut State University will host a forum for students and staff Tuesday on the sexual misconduct allegations levied against a theatre professor in the school’s student newspaper.
“Following the report of alleged sexual misconduct by one of our faculty, it has become quite apparent to me that we have some work to do on our campus,” said CCSU President Zulma Toro in an email to students and staff this morning. “It must start with honest and open communication.”
Toro asked the campus to join her Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the Constitution Room at the school to hear updates on the investigations into the behavior of Theatre professor Jeffrey Perlstein, who several former students claim sexually harassed them with unwanted advances and touching.
The allegations were reported Monday in the online version of school’s student newspaper The Recorder. The managing editor of the paper, Ruth Bruno, wrote the story after a roughly six-month investigation into Perlstein’s activities. Perlstein was placed on paid leave Wednesday, the same day the paper’s print version hit the stands.
Toro told her administrative staff to investigate the claims Tuesday and the school had hired an independent Hartford law firm to also conduct an investigation.
At least two former students and one faculty member told Bruno that Perlstein had made off-color remarks or inappropriately kissed and touched them. One woman told Bruno she declined to be stage manager of a production after Perlstein had behaved inappropriately with her.
Bruno uncovered that the school disciplined Perlstein in 2004 after a student filed a complaint that Perlstein had kissed her and grabbed her buttocks during what she presumed was a meeting about her future employment options.
Perlstein has been a tenured professor at the school since 1998. He was making $97,000 a year when he placed on leave.
Toro told staff and students in the email sent this morning that an update into the investigations would be provided during Tuesday’s forum and that a moderator would field questions.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or .