Read the full investigative report into the Alex Morse matter

The 123-page report was the result of a four-month long investigation

By Matt Berg, Managing Editor

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse did not violate school policy during his time as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, but his pursuit of dating or sexual relationships were enough to make a number of students feel uncomfortable, an investigative report released Wednesday found.

The 123-page report is composed of 32 pages summarizing the investigator’s findings and 91 pages of exhibits, which include screenshots of text messages, photographs and University policies. 

University officials announced the investigation on Aug. 8, a day after the Daily Collegian reported that UMass Democrats, Amherst College Democrats and College Democrats of Massachusetts disinvited the mayor from future events for making students feel uncomfortable.

In the letter, the group alleged that Morse had “sexual contact with college students, including at UMass Amherst, where he teaches, and the greater Five College Consortium.” Reports of the letter came in the midst of Morse’s run for Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District against Rep. Richard Neal.

Consensual relationships, such as dating or sexual relationships, between faculty and students are “inherently problematic because of the unequal power dynamic between the parties to the relationship,” and “the responsibility of faculty for evaluating students’ work,” the University wrote in a statement in August, referencing its policies on the matter.

The report found that Morse did not have such responsibility over the students he was involved with.

As a result of the report, the University is reviewing the findings and evaluating whether changes need to be made to student-professor relationship policies at the school.

“UMass Amherst officials are studying the report and will evaluate whether pursuit of dating or sexual relationships with students by a faculty member is in conflict with the Consensual Relationship Policy or the university’s Principles of Employee Conduct,” said Ed Blaguszewski, a University spokesperson.

Below is the report in full:

Matt Berg can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.