Utah State University President Noelle Cockett sent an email today, Sept. 26, to students and employees in the USU Music Department, addressing concerns in the piano program:
Dear Music Department faculty, staff and students:
Please know that USU takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously, including allegations against Professor Dennis Hirst that were made public in a civil lawsuit last week.
An investigation into sexual assault allegations against Professor Hirst is underway. We are working with outside counsel and expect a finding in 4-6 weeks. I encourage you to report any information you know to the Title IX office so we can more quickly wrap up this investigation and bring closure to everyone involved, including our students.
In the meantime, we are working with Department Head Cindy Dewey to minimize the impact on students, faculty and staff. Dr. Dewey is reassigning Professor Hirst’s teaching assignments to other faculty members for the fall 2018 semester.
I appreciate the input and discussion you’ve provided as we move forward with this difficult and complicated situation.