University of Wisconsin-Superior professor on leave resigns after investigationMatthew Faerber was director of choral activities and a professor of vocal music education at UWS.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A University of Wisconsin-Superior professor who was placed on leave while the university investigated details of a decades-old conviction in Utah of attempted child sexual abuse has resigned, the school announced today.
Matthew Faerber was director of choral activities and a professor of vocal music education at UWS, and the director of the volunteer Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He had been employed by UWS since 1998.
When he was hired, the UW System did not require background checks on new employees, and so was not aware of criminal charges involving two teenage girls. Faerber was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 28.
UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter said that Faerber resigned under a separation agreement.
“We believe that this is a fair and reasonable resolution to a difficult situation, which serves the best interests of students and the entire UW-Superior community,” Wachter said in a news release.
Former Barron County, Wis., Circuit Court Judge Edward Brunner conducted an independent review of Faerber’s past as well as his time at UWS. After the review, Wachter chose to proceed with dismissal.
At that time, Oct. 7, Faerber’s administrative leave became unpaid. He requested a hearing before the faculty personnel committee.
According to a 1991 article in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, Faerber, who formerly was choir director at Murray High School in Utah, was charged with sexual improprieties involving two 13-year-old music students. He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, which are third-degree felonies, and was sentenced to six months in jail. After that, he was to enroll in a residential treatment facility for counseling and was put on 36 months of probation.
The UW System put in place a criminal background check policy for new hires on Dec. 1, 2007, and strengthened it twice this year.