UMN spent over $38,000 investigating sex harassment claim against Regent Darrin Rosha

Rosha was allegedly fired from the McNally Smith College of Music in 2007 for sending sexually explicit texts to a female student.

Regent Darrin Rosha speaks during a meeting on June 8, 2017.

Image by Ellen Schmidt, Daily File Photo

Regent Darrin Rosha speaks during a meeting on June 8, 2017.

by Eliana Schreiber

The University of Minnesota spent more than $38,000 investigating a 2007 claim of sexual harassment against Regent Darrin Rosha. 

The Pioneer Press first reported the story Friday.

In a complaint filed against Rosha in 2015 — just months after his appointment to the Board — a person claimed Rosha had sent sexually explicit text messages to a female undergraduate at McNally Smith College of Music and attended her music performances after being asked to stop.

According to the documents, the University paid attorney Don Lewis more than $34,000 to investigate. Additionally, the board approved $5,000 to pay for Rosha’s own legal fees. The University’s investigation could not substantiate the allegations. 

Rosha, who previously served on the Board of Regents from 1989 to 1995, denied the allegations and said he left the school after changes in leadership.

In his return to the Board in 2014, Rosha did not include his experience at McNally Smith on his application to the Regent Candidate Advisory Council.

“The University appreciated the seriousness of the issue and conducted a thorough investigation through outside counsel. Regent Rosha fully cooperated with the investigation,” University spokesperson Evan Lapiska said in a statement. “As the investigative report concludes, the investigator could not substantiate the allegations made in the September 23, 2015 UReport.”

Rosha denied the claims in a letter to the Board earlier this week, according to the Pioneer Press and later sent to the Minnesota Daily.

“We must take allegations of misconduct seriously,” he said in the letter. “However, it would be appropriate to confirm the existence of a bona fide complaint of misconduct before expending significant resources on a lengthy, broad-reaching effort to prove a negative.”