UMD Fitness and Wellness coordinator faces more complaints

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify information regarding two new complaints the university says have been filed against Rod Raymond and are currently under investigation.  For the second time since 2009, Duluth business owner and University of Minnesota Duluth employee, Rod Raymond is under investigation by UMD following recent complaints.

Raymond, UMD’s Fitness and Wellness coordinator and co-owner of the Burrito Union, the Red Star Lounge, Fitger’s Brewhouse and Tycoons Alehouse and Eatery, has two new complaints against him, which led to the current investigation.

As a fitness instructor in 2009, Raymond faced charges after two female students filed sexual harassment complaints.

According to UMD’s investigation report released in 2009, after Raymond’s initial charges, the two women felt he created a “hostile work environment due to sexual harassment.”

The 2009 investigation described allegations from five different women against Raymond. One woman said he tickled her stomach during a fitness test. Other women said he nuzzled their necks while hugging them. He is also accused of making uninvited sexual overtures including the line, “You remind me of my former girlfriend.”

Raymond denied these allegations.

The investigation report was written by Dr. Deborah Petersen-Perlman, who at the time was director of the UMD Office of Equal Opportunity. She concluded the report with the recommendation to, “sever Mr. Raymond’s employee relationship with UMD.”

Instead, on July 15, 2009, Raymond was ordered to complete a series of workshops and training modules aimed at the prevention of sexual harassment.

Raymond stayed with UMD following the incident, eventually being promoted to his current position as Fitness and Wellness coordinator. He has been on unpaid leave since November of 2011 when he was making close to $45,000 a year.

In February of 2012 Raymond reportedly submitted his own sexual discrimination complaint against UMD naming numerous female administrators, including former Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin, whom he once was a personal trainer for. In the allegations he claimed he was subject to numerous unnecessary investigations.

According to a statement made by Raymond’s attorney, Lindsay R.M. Jones, Raymond took his leave from UMD because he alleges other university employees “took it upon themselves as self-appointed vigilantes to seek to force Mr. Raymond to quit or cause the University to terminate his employment out of embarrassment, by engaging in a pattern and practice of intimidation and a public smear campaign with the malicious intent of undermining Mr. Raymond’s reputation in the community, so as to render his continued employment with the University untenable.”

UMD is still investigating the two new complaints against Raymond.


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