ATLANTA – The University of Georgia has barred a longtime math professor from campus as investigators review several sexual misconduct complaints against him.
The university confirmed in a statement Friday that its Equal Opportunity Office is investigating the professor, William Kazez, who's been a faculty member at UGA for about three decades, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
At least seven women — students and faculty — have come forward recently with complaints of unwanted touching, groping and sex acts by Kazez, said Decatur attorney Lisa Anderson, who represents two of the women who filed the complaints.
Anderson said the accusations from the women go back at least to 2014.
The university statement says Kazez has been banned from campus and isn't teaching while the investigation is underway.
The university said it would not discuss the specifics of its probe, but stressed it will vigorously investigate and "impose sanctions on faculty and employees found to have engaged in sexual misconduct."
An attorney representing Kazez told the newspaper Kazez denies "acting unlawfully" toward the students. He also said Kazez had not had any prior Equal Opportunity Office complaints against him in his UGA career.
"Dr. Kazez has empathy for the accusers, however, some of their assertions have changed over time, and others could not have happened as alleged," said his attorney, Janet E. Hill. "At this point, no violations have been proven. The University of Georgia has a process to investigate allegations such as these which is designed to protect the rights of the accusers and the accused. Dr. Kazez looks forward to resolving this matter through the established legal processes rather than in the court of public opinion."
Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com