Ex-Cambridge University fellow sorry for ‘inappropriate’ behaviour
A former fellow of the University of Cambridge has apologised after 10 students complained of “inappropriate sexual and sexist” behaviour.
Dr Peter Hutchinson was a non-stipendiary fellow of Trinity Hall until 2015, when he stopped teaching after a University investigation.
He admitted commenting on female students’ appearance in his tutorials over several months in 2014 and 2015.
The “thoughtless” comments, he said he now realised “caused offence”.
In a statement issued through the university and first reported by the Cambridge News, the former German lecturer said he wanted to “publicly apologise to those students” for comments he made.
“I also want to apologise to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted comment by me that they felt crossed the line in any way,” he said.
“At the time I did not question the comments I made as I was not made aware of the impact they were having.
“Having had time to reflect, to step back and consider how these students said I’d made them feel, I realise these comments were thoughtless, insensitive and caused offence.”
Dr Hutchinson retired in 2011 and has had no contact with undergraduates since the 2015 investigation. However, he remains in an advisory role at Trinity Hall.
A Trinity Hall spokeswoman said the college maintained a “zero tolerance approach” to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
She added: “The College welcomes the statement Dr Hutchinson has provided and endorses the outline of events and actions taken.
“The resulting action taken after the informal investigation was communicated directly to the students concerned, and was accepted and welcomed by them as a satisfactory resolution of their complaint against Dr Hutchinson.”