U of M athletics employee suspended for breaking sexual harassment policy

Photo Courtesy: University of Minnesota

A University of Minnesota athletics employee will be suspended for two weeks without pay for violating the university's sexual harassment policy, according to a statement from Athletic Director Mark Coyle.

The decision to suspend Associate Athletic Director for Development Randy Handel comes after an investigation by the university's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

On Thursday, university leadership met with Coyle to review the findings of the investigation.

Handel, who handles fundraising for capital campaigns for the athletics department, will be suspended for two weeks without pay starting May 29, need to take sexual harassment training and receive professional coaching. Handel can still help with several fundraising campaigns, but is not allowed to have a supervisor role.

Coyle sent Handel a letter, outlining the disciplinary actions.

Statement from Mark Coyle, director of Gopher Athletics:

"The University’s EOAA investigation process has concluded, and Randy Handel has been found
responsible for violation of the University's sexual harassment policy. I have reviewed the final findings
with University leadership and today met with Randy to outline discipline related to those findings.

"It’s important to note that today’s actions are not the first we have taken in this matter. Our primary focus
from the start of all cases like this is to take prompt action to make the conduct stop. We believe we have
addressed those concerns and taken steps to prevent this conduct from reoccurring.

"Earlier in this process, I met with EOAA and discussed recommended actions and next steps. The
discipline I shared with Randy today is consistent with those recommendations, which are based on
discipline handed out in other, similar situations.

"Randy remains a University employee. With that said, he will:

 - Receive a two-week, unpaid suspension, beginning on Monday, May 29.
 - Be required to participate in sexual harassment training and in professional coaching.
 - Continue to support several fundraising campaigns, but he will no longer have supervisor

"We are committed to taking all appropriate actions any time there is an allegation of misconduct in our
department. We believe we have done this in this instance and will continue to do so, when needed, in
the future."