Several female Northwestern faculty members plan to protest promotion of athletics department employee

Several female Northwestern faculty members are planning to protest the promotion of an athletics department employee tied to controversy.

Mike Polisky is taking over as Athletic Director. He's a defendant in an ongoing lawsuit filed by a cheerleader who says Polisky ignored her complaints of being harassed and exploited at school-sanctioned events. 

Polisky had been the school's Deputy Athletic Director for external affairs before being promoted.

The lawsuit was filed in January by Hayden Richardson, a sophomore who had joined the cheerleading team.

It alleges there were repeated instances of cheerleaders being groped by drunken fans and alumni during university-sanctioned events.


In a letter to the provost, faculty members say in part - "the hiring of Polisky... signals a troubling continuity in athletic department leadership that... failed the university and its students in significant ways."

According to The Daily Northwestern, 80 women faculty sent an open letter in just last February calling on the university to prioritize systemic transparency and support for female athletes on campus.

Yesterday, Amy Stanley a history professor told the paper that it felt like a slap in the face. 

"I can’t overstate the level of rage that I have been hearing from my fellow women faculty members. ... this is just the latest indication that the university administration doesn’t care about our concerns," Stanley said.

The paper all also says the other three candidates for the job we’re all women two of them women of color

The group plans to hold a protest this Friday followed by a march to the school president's home. 

FOX 32 reached out to Northwestern for comment, but have not heard back.