UMN professor pleads guilty to assault

University of Minnesota professor Aaron Doering pleaded guilty to a domestic assault by strangulation felony charge on Thursday.

Aaron H. Doering

Aaron H. Doering

by Mohamed Ibrahim

University of Minnesota professor Aaron Doering pleaded guilty to felony domestic assault by strangulation Thursday after being arrested late last year for choking and slapping his fiancee while intoxicated.

The tenured professor also pleaded guilty to violating a domestic abuse no-contact order in Hennepin County court Thursday, according to Star Tribune reporting. The terms of his plea agreement say he must serve two years on probation and 180 days in the county workhouse, as well as complete treatment for mental health issues and alcohol addiction, the report said.

The 47-year-old professor in the College of Education and Human Development was arrested Dec. 26 after choking and slapping his fiancee in their apartment, according to the criminal complaint. The fiancee said he had grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the apartment before choking her until she was unable to breathe, the complaint said.

Doering admitted to being intoxicated that night, but doesn’t remember many other details, according to the Star Tribune. He said his partner’s accounts were accurate, however, contending that the confrontation began after being accused of being unfaithful, the report said.

Doering is still on leave from his position at the University, University spokesperson Caitlin Hurley wrote in an email to the Minnesota Daily. Citing state privacy laws, Hurley would not disclose whether he is being paid by the University. 

University spokesperson Lacey Nygard wrote in a February email that three complaints against Doering have been filed with the University, and all complaints were closed with no disciplinary action.  

A renowned climate change expert and explorer, Doering holds the Bonnie Westby Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology in CEHD and taught courses related to online and mobile learning.