PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University President Kirk Schulz and Director of Athletics Pat Chun released a statement on Thursday responding to an article published by WSU's student newspaper The Daily Evergreen regarding numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Cougar Athletic Fund Assistant Director Jason Gesser.
The Daily Evergreen cites public records of sexual harassment and misconduct against Gesser dating back to 2014. The newspaper reported that Gesser was the subject of an internal investigation earlier this year following a complaint.
The highlights of the report included allegations that Gesser had a sexual relationship with an intern, he used WSU funds to fly a member of the media to a fundraising event, a former intern who worked under Gesser claimed he sent her flirtatious text messages and athletics staff members and donors expressed frustration with his behavior.
As assistant director for the Cougar Athletic Fund, Gesser raises money for WSU sports teams. While he was a quarterback for the Cougars, he led the team to the 2003 Rose Bowl. He started working for WSU in 2013.
According to the statement issued by WSU, the university found "no violation" of university policy. The statement also included that the allegations were "addressed at appropriate level."
According to a WSU spokesperson, Gesser is still employed at the university as of Thursday evening.
The full statement reads:
We take any allegation of sexual misconduct extremely seriously. A thorough review was launched by the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity once University administrators became aware of allegations against Mr. Gesser in December 2017. On multiple occasions, investigators interviewed or attempted to interview all those allegedly involved. Following a comprehensive evaluation of the information available, the Office for Equal Opportunity found no violation of University policy.
As per standard practice, the Office for Equal Opportunity shared its report with Washington State University’s Office of Human Resource Services. Human resources staff worked with Director of Athletics Pat Chun to directly address with Mr. Gesser the issues raised in the report.
It is important to reiterate that the University followed its established procedures to review the matter and found no violation of Washington State University policy. The allegations were taken seriously and addressed at the appropriate level.
As part of a separate audit of Mr. Gesser’s travel receipts in his role as an Athletics Department fundraiser, a $39.78 overcharge was identified. Mr. Gesser has since reimbursed the University for the full amount.
If individuals have any information regarding allegations of misconduct by WSU employees, they should call the Office for Equal Opportunity at 509-335-8288 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”