An Auckland University of Technology (AUT) professor accused of sexual misconduct has resigned from his role as dean - but will remain on as a professor.
Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences Max Abbott resigned with immediate effect, AUT confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.
His resignation came after Australian National University (ANU) scholar Dr Marisa Paterson filed a complaint to AUT in August 2019. The allegations include prolonged and persistent stalking, sexual and physical harassment, and bullying by Abbott over a two-year period. She also says he threatened her career when she cut contact with him after they exchanged texts for two-and-a-half years.
Vice chancellor Derek McCormack said he accepted Abbott's resignation as Dean on Friday, but he will continue as a professor at the university.
AUT said the publicity of ANU's complaint and the reactions to it meant Abbott couldn't continue as faculty Dean.
"It is essential that all staff and students of the university have full confidence in our approaches to preventing and dealing with harassment," it said in a statement.
"Because of this, and in keeping with our aim of being a place of continuous learning we will be reviewing our processes, procedures and programmes. We want to be certain we are a place where all of our people feel welcome, safe and able to succeed - and able to raise concerns if that is not the case."
AUT confirmed a formal investigation was "immediately undertaken" after it received a complaint from ANU on behalf of one of its staff members.
It says it also received external legal advice before and after its own investigation, and its outcomes were deemed appropriate.