UW News

December 3, 2020

UW statement on the termination of professor John Sahr

UW News

“In October 2019, the University of Washington shared information about the results of a University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO) investigation into alleged sexual misconduct on the part of John Sahr, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and former interim director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars. Sahr was immediately placed on home assignment and prohibited from engaging with students or coming to campus and the inquiry began immediately after the allegations were reported to the University. The investigation found inappropriate conduct with students, including a 17-year-old undergraduate who was associated with the Robinson Center. Sahr’s conduct violated Executive Order 31 (the UW’s policy regarding sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment) and the UW’s conflict of interest policies.

“Due to the seriousness of the findings of the investigation and pursuant to the University’s faculty code, the Provost initiated a comprehensive adjudication proceeding for tenure removal and termination. The adjudication proceeding has concluded and Sahr’s employment was terminated on Nov. 12, and his tenure has been revoked.

“As we stated previously, the safety of our community is the UW’s highest priority, and this type of conduct cannot be tolerated. While there continues to be no evidence that leads us to believe there are additional students, faculty or staff who were impacted by Sahr’s actions, resources are being provided to students and departments in which Sahr was most directly involved to provide them with needed support and avenues to safely report anything that has not already been made known.

“The decision to terminate any employee is one the University takes with great care and seriousness. The investigation and adjudication process is designed to ensure thorough consideration before a conclusion is reached. This process led to Sahr’s termination, and this action upholds our commitment to providing a safe environment for all students and employees.”

– Victor Balta, UW spokesperson

The University of Washington is committed to preventing sexual assault, misconduct and harassment. Resources – including ways to get support and information on how to report sexual assault to law enforcement and/or the University – are available at uw.edu/sexualassault.