Lisa Troyer's future as a professor on the Urbana campus remains a question mark.
University officials said Friday that Troyer, former chief of staff for President Michael Hogan, remains a tenured member of the psychology faculty, but the situation will be reviewed in coming days.
"This report has just been issued. It's still to be deterimined what her next position will be, and when that will be worked out," said UI spokesman Thomas Hardy, adding those decisions would be made by Hogan, senior campus administrators and human resources.
The investigative report released Friday did not specifically say whether Troyer violated any policies in posing as a faculty senator and sending anonymous emails, but it cited two that could be applied in this case — the university's Code of Conduct and a campus "Policy on Appropriate Use of Computers and Network Systems." The code calls for employees to act with "integrity" and "honesty," and the campus policy says emails must include the sender's "proper identity."
"The campus will certainly consider that, along with the particular conclusions in this investigative report, as they determine how to move forward with Dr. Troyer's faculty position," said UI ethics officer Donna McNeely.
Hardy and campus Provost Richard Wheeler said only the university president can rescind tenure under the University Statutes, which outline a process for sanctioning or disciplining a tenured faculty member for cause.
Hardy said it would be "premature" to speculate whether that process might be initiated.
Troyer was hired, along with Hogan, in July 2010 and was approved for a tenured position at that time, he said.
Wheeler said Friday that he hadn't studied the report in detail but said it "seems to indicate that the findings have a great deal of certainty behind them and they are serious findings."
"What we need to do now is put together a process to arrive at the best decision about this," Wheeler said. "As of right now she is a tenured member of the psychology faculty, and that is not likely to change anytime soon."
He said the campus faculty senate, most likely its Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, would play a "very significant role" in any discussions of Troyer's tenure or potential sanctions.
Wheeler said it's rare for tenure to be rescinded, and this particular case is "unprecedented" in his experience.
"We need to have time to digest the report, consider what its force is, and make sure we have the right process involving the right people," he said. "I've never dealt with anything quite like this before."
In a statement emailed to reporters on Friday, Troyer maintained her innocence and said she had cooperated fully with investigators, though she offered no alternative explanation.
Troyer also said she offered her resignation on Jan. 4 because she couldn't be effective as chief of staff until an explanation was found for the anonymous emails. Hardy said Friday that Troyer had not been forced to step down.
"While the investigation didn't reveal the source of the e-mails or how they were sent, it also wasn't able to exonerate me," Troyer wrote. "That's disappointing because I recognize that I cannot resume my position as an effective chief-of-staff in the absence of such an outcome.
"Again, I had nothing to do with these e-mails and, although the source and motivation have not yet been uncovered, I believe that in the fullness of time, the truth behind this matter will be revealed."