Carlos Kalmar Cleared from Sexual Harassment Case at Cleveland institute of Music

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Michael Jones)

The Cleveland Institute of Music has cleared Carlos Kalmar of sexual harassment charges following an investigation.

In a letter, CIM Dean, Dean Southern said, “Thank you for your patience as the Cleveland Institute of Music worked to conduct a thorough and fact-based investigation into Title IX allegations involving Carlos Kalmar. The investigation was led by Carole Rendon, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and partner at the BakerHostetler law firm. Rendon was retained to ensure that the investigation was fair, impartial, and independent. The Title IX investigation is now complete and earlier this afternoon I communicated my findings to the parties. While the findings of a Title IX investigation are not normally communicated beyond the parties, in light of the public attention surrounding this case, I have decided to share this update with you.”

He added, “As CIM’s Acting Title IX Officer, I thoroughly reviewed the investigative report which included written reports, voluntary written statements, videos, interviews with more than thirty CIM students, faculty, and staff, and additional evidence provided by both parties. Based on the evidence found in the investigative report, CIM has concluded that the specific allegations against Carlos Kalmar did not violate the Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Sex Non-Discrimination Policy Under Title IX. The investigation found that the alleged conduct could not constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment as prohibited by Title IX because the conduct did not have ‘the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a person’s participation in educational programs or activities…’ Moreover, the conduct was not on the basis of sex, nor was it so severe or pervasive as to create an objectively offensive environment such that it denies anyone equal access to educational opportunities at CIM based on gender. Therefore, the Institute was obligated to dismiss the Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment in this matter.”

The letter also added that Kalmar and the complainants were informed of the decision to dismiss this case and there will be five days to appeal the decision.

Kalmar was accused of sexual harassment earlier this year. The accusation was made by a student who stated that Kalmar behaved inappropriately. The school took immediate action and asked students to come forward if they had witnessed or experienced sexual harassment by Kalmar, principal conductor and director of orchestral studies and the conducting program. The investigation led to journalist Anne Midgette declining an Honorary Doctorate from the school.