For the second time this year, a University of Iowa professor accused of sexual misconduct has taken his own life. Iowa City police found the body of music professor Mark Weiger in his garaged car at his home on Wednesday afternoon — and say it’s an apparent suicide.
University spokesman Steve Parrott says it’s a stunning turn of events. Parrott says, "We want to express our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the professor and we wanted to let people know that we’ve already provided some counseling for faculty, staff and students in the School of Music and that we’ll continue to do that as necessary."
Weiger was named in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit this week, filed by a former graduate student. The Ohio woman claimed Weiger’s actions forced her to stop work on her doctorate degree, leave Iowa City and resume her studies elsewhere.
In August, another U-of-I professor, Arthur Miller, killed himself after being charged with with bribery for allegedly trading sexual favors from students for better grades. Parrott says having two similiar incidents in such close proximity is particularly shocking.
He says: "That just makes it harder for the university community. It’s been a very difficult fall for us and it just is a good reason why we need to pull together as a community." Parrott says U-of-I President Sally Mason is out of town but is expected to be back in Iowa City today to make "an official statement for the university" about the Weiger case.