Tim Hays, the professor accused of sexual harassment last semester, initiating a Title IX investigation, is now being accused of sexually inappropriate behavior in 2004 by a music business alum.
In a January 8 Facebook post, Brianne Duncan Fiore, who graduated in 2007, said, “Dr. Tim Hays cornered me in the north stairwell at Irion Hall and looked down my shirt when I was a student at #ElmhurstCollege.”
In the fall, Hays was removed from teaching a class after student complaints of behavior, in connection to a controversial seating chart. Currently this spring semester, Hays is not teaching any classes. However, he is the professor of record for an independent study class and is an adviser for music internship capstone course, according to BlueNet listings.
The spring sequel to the fall course he was removed from teaching is now being taught by adjunct faculty member Randall Deadman, as confirmed by student reports.
In an interview with The Leader, Fiore provided more details of her alleged encounter.
“It was the fall, I believe my second year, 2004,” said Fiore. “We were on the first floor, Tim Hays and his friend came in from the entrance and walked up to the landing where my friend and I were leaving. I’m not sure which direction it was, but it’s the stairwell by the elevator.”
Fiore could not name Hays’ friend; however, Fiore’s friend who Fiore said was with her when the incident allegedly happened, declined to comment.
Fiore said she reported this incident to EC chaplain Scott Matheney and then dean of students, Kathy Mackay.
“They were both really nice about it and apologized to me for it happening, but they said they couldn’t do anything about it,” she said.
While Matheney said Fiore’s name did sound familiar, he declined to comment further, stating, “in terms of this case and others I’m bound by confidentiality to protect the college community.”
The Leader could not reach Mackay for comment.
Despite repeated attempts, Hays’ attorney, Travis Life did not reply for comment.
Fiore said she recently reported the incident to the current dean of faculty April Edwards. However, Edwards declined to comment on the matter to The Leader, citing “personnel matters.”
In her Facebook post, Fiore encouraged her fellow alum to contact Edwards as well about their own experiences because “(All new faculty, they ‘cannot find prior documentation’ from anyone re Tim Hays).”
According to Fiore, complaints about Hays are not new.
“There’s always been stories and complaints about Tim Hays from students,” she explained.
When asked if she was looking into prior complaints from alum regarding Hays, Edwards said, “The college when they receive information about any faculty member always follows up with an inquiry. I think investigation might be too strong of a word.”
However, Edwards did add, “If information comes to light, I would take it into consideration.”
Fiore also encouraged current students who may have had similar experiences with Hays and are hesitant to do so to speak up.
“If I could say something to those students who are afraid to come out and not be anonymous, you can be anonymous publicly, but for administrative records, if you want to actually affect change, you have to go on record, which is terrible to make people do that,” said Fiore.
“But on the other hand, if you're making a stand then other people will feel comfortable making a stand and then we’ll start to actually see some change.”