University of Rochester

University Reaffirms Stand on Cooperation with Investigations

October 16, 2008

"The University of Rochester is committed to compliance with applicable law and will not tolerate obstruction of any kind," President Joel Seligman said today.

He referred to State Police allegations that Professor Thomas Hahn had warned a University graduate student that the student was under investigation for inappropriate Internet use.

The student, Gilbert Kirton, was charged by the state on October 10 with "possession of obscene sexual performance by a child" and was summarily suspended by the University.

Hahn was director of graduate studies in the Department of English, Kirton's department. He stepped down from that administrative position on October 15.

University spokeswoman Sharon Dickman said that University Security has cooperated fully with the criminal investigation since its inception.

"We have every confidence that the police investigation will be thorough and careful," Dickman said. "We do not want to prejudge its outcome. Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence."

"When the criminal investigation is complete, the University will decide what further action, if any, the University should take to determine whether or not Professor Hahn violated its policies," she said.