Troyer: Investigation into anonymous emails mishandled
URBANA — A University of Illinois investigation into a pair of anonymous emails reportedly sent from the president's former chief of staff was mishandled, Lisa Troyer has claimed.
In a statement supplied exclusively to The News-Gazette, Troyer, who resigned as chief of staff in early January, not only maintains she did not send the anonymous emails, but she has evidence supporting that fact, she said. The News-Gazette has published her statement in its entirety.
When contacted Tuesday, Troyer declined to elaborate on the statement or answer questions about her claims.
"Because of the confidentiality agreement, I cannot publicly disclose the verifiable details that question the credibility of the investigation. I cannot publicly share the exculpatory facts omitted from the [investigative] report, or specifically challenge the unsubstantiated speculation, irrelevant information, and many inaccuracies in the report. There's no such thing as 'due process' under these circumstances," she wrote.
Her statement comes in the wake of the campus announcement earlier this week that it would conduct its own investigation into whether any disciplinary action be taken against Troyer.
On Monday, interim Provost Richard Wheeler said the review, which includes faculty in the Department of Psychology and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, would determine what, if anything, are the implications of her actions as chief of staff for her new position as a faculty member on the Urbana campus.
Troyer resigned Jan. 3 as chief of staff but held a zero-time tenured appointment in psychology as stipulated in the employment agreement given to her when she joined the university in 2010. It is not uncommon for administrators also to hold zero-time appointments in departments of their fields.
University spokesman Tom Hardy said the university stands by the recent investigation regarding anonymous emails, both in the professionalism, independence, and rigor of the inquiry and the presentation of the findings. The information conveyed by Troyer or on her behalf has provided no new perspective or impact on the conclusions, he added.
In addition, contrary to Troyer’s statement, the university has not entered into a “confidentiality agreement” with her, Hardy said.
A sociologist by training, Troyer has worked alongside Hogan for years, most recently at the University of Connecticut, where she was Hogan's chief of staff and a professor of sociology. She also worked with him at the University of Iowa, where she earned tenure as a faculty member. Troyer received master's and doctorate degrees from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.
Earlier this month, Troyer accepted the campus' offer of $109,000 to be a full-time faculty member in psychology.
Troyer has said she resigned as chief of staff because she believed she could no longer effectively do that job while the investigation into the anonymous emails was being conducted. The inquiry began Dec. 12 when the UI's information technology was notified after members of the University Senates Conference received an anonymous email from someone purporting to be a faculty senator. The email concerned the group's discussion on enrollment management and changes proposed by Hogan in areas of recruiting students, admissions, financial aid and more.
At the time, the conference, made up of faculty senators from all three of the UI's campuses, was drafting a response to the enrollment management report commissioned by Hogan. The anonymous email urged faculty not to pretend a consensus existed among the three campuses in response to the proposal. The group ended up voting 13 to 2 in favor of a report that endorsed some of the recommendations outlined in Hogan's report, requested further discussion of some recommendations and rejected others.
The investigation initially involved the University Ethics Office and the Office of University Counsel, which both report to Hogan. Later in December, the UI hired outside law firm Jones Day and forensic data analyst Duff & Phelps.
The investigation's report, issued Jan. 13, concluded the emails were composed and sent from Troyer's laptop, there was no evidence of hacking and the laptop was not improperly accessed.
The investigation also concluded no one, including Hogan, knew about the emails.
On the day the results of the investigation were released, Troyer issued a statement that said she did not send the emails. Now she not only reiterates that claim, she maintains "there's substantial evidence" supporting that fact.
"Over the last months, I've been devastated by the mishandling of the investigation and deeply disappointed with some who've perpetuated lies and disseminated misinformation," Troyer wrote.
"And the absence of due process is exacerbated by the irresponsible and seemingly deliberate lies publicly perpetuated by (University of Illinois Professor Michael) Moore with his co-authors and signatories, as well as (Urbana senate Vice Chairwoman Joyce) Tolliver, (Campus Faculty Association's Harriet) Murav, and others."
In her approximately 1,000-word statement, Troyer criticized UI faculty member Michael Moore and his co-authors who wrote a recent letter to the UI Board of Trustees urging it to ask for Hogan's resignation. Citing Hogan's failure of leadership and criticizing his leadership style, the Moore letter said Hogan acted inappropriately by directing "those administering this (Urbana) campus that Hogan's disgraced former Chief of Staff, Lisa Troyer, be elevated to a full-time tenured appointment in the Psychology Department of this campus — this, despite the ethical lapses of Troyer that no one (including Hogan) denies occurred, and despite the obvious conflict of interest Hogan had because of Troyer's incentive to remain silent so long as some job security was obtained for her."
Moore's letter also stated "given the circumstantial evidence provided by Hogan's motive, opportunity, and characteristic modes of dealing, it has yet to be shown to our satisfaction that Hogan did not have an even more active role in the composing and sending of the fraudulent e-mails sent from his personal assistant's computer than has yet been revealed — although that assistant has coyly promised that 'in the fullness of time' the truth will come out about this."
Troyer said such statements — as well as that by Tolliver who in her statements to the senate said the fact that President Hogan "sees no conflict of interest in pursuing a faculty position for the one person whose silence protects him from any further disclosures suggests an ethical standard far below what common sense would dictate" — are inaccurate.
"As an initiator of and participant in this ethics investigation, I'm not permitted to publicly disclose details of the investigation, including its many flaws. The fact that these investigations are confidential is well-known, and the fact that Tolliver, Moore and Moore's co-authors ignore this seems deliberately intended to inflict harm.
"To suggest that what's occurred has been orchestrated for my benefit is preposterous. I was not 'elevated' to a tenure position after resigning as chief of staff as asserted by Moore and his co-authors."
There's little she can state publicly at this time — "even though I believe revealing more would go far to quell the blood thirst that's rampant among some," Troyer wrote.