Statements regarding Norwood Teague resignation

August 7, 2015

The following statements are from University of Minnesota leaders regarding the resignation of Gopher Athletics Director Norwood Teague.

President Eric W. Kaler:
Today I accepted the resignation of Gopher Athletics Director Norwood Teague, effective immediately.

Norwood’s resignation follows the report of two recent incidents of sexual harassment of two non-student University employees, based on unwelcome sexual advances and verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature occurring on the same evening.  I have spoken personally to the employees and expressed my sincere regrets that they experienced this behavior.

The University has an explicit policy against sexual harassment and a strong code of conduct that articulates the standards and behaviors we expect of our employees. Our senior leaders, in particular, must behave at the highest standards and set a positive example for our students and University community.

I take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously. The incidents were reported the day after the behavior occurred, and I spoke to Norwood about it the following day.

Norwood has acknowledged his inappropriate behavior and has expressed remorse for his actions. He has also fully cooperated in our review of this matter and in this leadership transition in Gopher Athletics. While this does not excuse the behavior, Norwood has disclosed that he is seeking alcohol counseling and assistance, and I hope those efforts will be successful. Regardless, I believe his resignation is the appropriate response. 

I know many of you will have questions about the short- and long-term effects on Gopher Athletics. I understand that and will try to answer those questions as best I can.

What I can tell you today is that I have asked Beth Goetz, deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, to step in as interim athletics director, and she has agreed to do so. Beth has had a leadership role in Gopher Athletics for three years as the second to the AD. She joined us from Butler University, where she was senior woman administrator.

While this is a quick and unexpected transition, I have great confidence in our athletics program, its current direction, and its recent successes. We have a very strong senior management team and outstanding coaches and staff. I am confident this team will help us continue the department’s momentum during this transition.

We will have more information for you about next steps for Gopher Athletics within the next couple weeks. In the meantime I ask for your patience. I also ask for your continued support of our student-athletes and Gopher Athletics program.

But today, I want to reiterate my commitment to ensuring a healthy learning, working and living environment at the University for all faculty, staff, and students. While I am deeply disappointed in this turn of events, I am confident that we are proceeding in the right way. Sexual harassment at the University of Minnesota will not be tolerated. We need to be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that those who experience harassment can access the resources available to them and know that the University takes this issue very seriously.

Board of Regents Chair Dean Johnson:
"It is disappointing and disheartening to learn about the events that led to the resignation of Gopher Athletics Director Norwood Teague. The University is committed to fostering a respectful and welcoming environment, and today’s actions are consistent with those values. The Board fully supports President Kaler’s decision to accept Mr. Teague’s resignation."

Interim Athletics Director Beth Goetz:
“Gopher Athletics has 725 student-athletes preparing for the upcoming academic year. These young men and women have produced positive results – both academic and athletic – in recent years. During this transition and beyond, our focus is on fully supporting them, as well as our coaches and our staff, as we build on that success and keep our athletics department moving forward.”

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