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UW-Eau Claire Vice Chancellor steps down amid investigation

(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 9:59 AM CST
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Earlier this month, a formal complaint was filed against Albert Colom alleging that there was gender based discrimination.

Now, before the investigation on that complaint could be completed, Colom announced he is resigning from his position.

Facing pressure from an internal investigation, Albert Colom announced he's stepping down as UW-Eau Claire's Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management.

He put his resignation in on Friday, and released a statement Monday saying in part,

"I told Chancellor Schmidt it has become increasingly apparent to me that, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation of allegations made against me, I am no longer able to effectively serve UW-Eau Claire in a senior leadership role. It is my belief this is in the best interest of the University."

Angie Swenson-Holzinger resigned from her position as Associate Director of Advising at the university in January.

Earlier this year, she filed a formal complaint against Colom.

"I felt like I had to make this formal complaint and I am relieved that others will not have to endure the environment or the treatment that I did under Albert Colom at UWEC," she said.

Following the complaint an investigation was launched.

Despite Colom's resignation, Chancellor Jim Schmidt says the investigation will continue.

"We've contracted with UW-Shared Services to do the investigation. There are two people who have been assigned to that. And I think it's important that the investigation continue and let the facts come out when that's completed," explained Schmidt.

At least four people say they left their positions at the university based on their experiences with Colom.

Swenson-Holzinger says concerns had been raised as early as 2018.

"How did the things that came forward over the last year lead to no action for an entire year and the amount of people that had to leave before any action started to happen," said Swenson-Holzinger.

But Schmidt stands by the university's decision.

"I will tell you that no formal complaint was issued. She expressed concern about how Albert was leading but in no instance did she claim there was any mistreatment that was based on gender or in any other area," he said.

Schmidt adds that he hopes the investigation will be complete in the next few weeks.

Colom's resignation from the university will take place on Sept. 2

He will have his duties re-assigned, but what he will be doing for the remainder of his employment is still to be determined.

A nationwide search for a new Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management will begin soon.


The University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt says Vice Chancellor Albert Colom will be stepping down effective immediately.

Schmidt says Colom's last day was Friday, Feb. 21 and his resignation from the university will be Sept. 2. He also says Colom will no longer be working on the campus but has been re-assigned duties.

The investigation of Colom is ongoing.

Colom made a statement which reads:

I have informed Chancellor Jim Schmidt that I am stepping down from my position as Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. I told Chancellor Schmidt it has become increasingly apparent to me that, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation of allegations made against me, I am no longer able to effectively serve UW-Eau Claire in a senior leadership role. It is my belief this is in the best interest of the University.

I came to UW-Eau Claire because I believed in the vision of strategic enrollment management set forth by Chancellor Schmidt. I am proud to have served with the enrollment management team in helping the university take a number of important steps on the path toward achieving those strategic enrollment goals.

I am grateful to Chancellor Schmidt for giving me the opportunity to serve UW-Eau Claire.

UW-Eau Claire will be holding a news conference at 2:30 p.m. to talk about Colom stepping down.