University of Connecticut Marching Band Director David Mills is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity, according to UConn music department head Dr. Eric Rice.
“There is an investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity,” Rice said. “I’m not going to discuss any reason for the investigation.”
UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz confirmed the investigation.
“While I can confirm that Dr. Mills is on leave from his position pending a personnel review, the university does not discuss specifics while those reviews are under way,” Reitz said.
Mills was placed on leave Friday, Nov. 16, Rice said. Earlier this week, Rice informed band students about the investigation and encouraged them to speak up with any concerns regarding Mills.
Rice stressed that the investigation will be unbiased and thorough.
“Administrative leaves of this kind are always made without prejudice,” Rice said. “It is possible that in a short time Dr. Mills could be back to work.”
Duties ordinarily performed by Mills have been reassigned for the remainder of the semester, Reitz said.
“Day-to-day operations of the Marching Band have been reassigned while that process is underway,” Reitz said. “Professors Ricardo Brown and Jessica Von Villas Dickerson will fill that role and will complete the semester as instructors of the course.”
Mills joined the faculty in 1990, according to his UConn online biography.
The OIE investigates personnel matters that violate non-discrimination rules set forth by UConn.
“The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) is responsible for objectively investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment based on protected classification to determine if employee conduct violates the University's non-discrimination policies,” the OIE website said.
Luke Hajdasz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.