Post Classifieds

Johnson State Student Accuses Professor of Sexual Harassment


By Tyler Dumont
On August 31, 2012

JOHNSON, VT. -- A student at Johnson State College has accused a professor of sexually harassing her.

Nicole Daigneault, 32, of Saint Johnsbury, told The Critic that she is accusing Professor Fred Wiseman, who allegedly threatened to lock her in his car and tried to kiss her.

Daigneault said that she had been taking a class with the professor when the alleged incidents occurred. She had been participating in a "spirituality mentorship" with Wiseman, who would meet with her outside the classroom at least once a week for breakfast with her daughter.

"He found out I was the descendant of a grand chief," Daigneault said. "And that's when he became interested in me."

The single mother said that the professor wrote journal entries about her after their meetings, one of which contained writing that he had envisioned "seeing her naked."

David Sleigh, Daigneault's attorney and also a part-time instructor at Lyndon State College, said that his client expects to bring an action against JSC, seeking damages for violations of Vermont's Public Accommodation Act.

"The college has had six months to provide some remedy to Nicole, and there hasn't been one," he said.

He also confirmed that Daigneault was still a student at Johnson, although she discontinued going to her classes last week after she arrived on her first day and saw Wiseman's vehicle in the parking lot, only to later discover that the professor is still actively teaching and employed at JSC.

JSC is one of the five Vermont State Colleges.

Sleigh said that another female also filed a complaint with the school regarding the same professor.

In a letter obtained by The Critic, JSC president Barbara Murphy wrote to Daigneault that she "accepted" the complaint of sexual harassment.

The letter stated that, "Investigators determined there was a 'very inappropriate crossing of faculty/student boundaries, at the very least.'"

The document also said that the professor had attempted to kiss Daigneault on two separate occasions, in addition to kissing her wrist while on school property - without Daigneault's permission.

Another report stated that Johnson had concluded that there is "ample evidence of related unprofessional conduct."

In an emailed statement, JSC President Barbara Murphy said, "We take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously."

"All the actions we may take in any particular case may not be readily apparent for a variety of reasons," she continued, "including confidentiality of student and personnel matters."

Despite Murphy's statements on Wiseman, he is reportedly still an employee. Contact information on the Johnson website lists him as a professor in the Humanities Department.

Multiple attempts to reach Wiseman, including calls to his office and emails requesting comment, were unsuccessful.

For more on this story, see the Friday, September 7 edition of The Critic.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent The Critic News Articles

Discuss This Article



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format