Emerson College professor and filmmaker Robert Todd had been suspended from teaching before he was found dead in a Boston park in August
A beloved professor and filmmaker from Emerson College who was found dead in a Boston park last month had been suspended without teaching pay after a month-long investigation was revealed this week.
Robert Todd, 54, associate president of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson, where he had taught for 18 years, was reported missing on August 16.
This week, Emerson president Lee Pelton confirmed that Todd was suspended during the semester after a sexual harassment complaint in December 2017, which was followed by an external investigation.
He was found dead on August 18, two days after he was last seen alive entering Franklin Park in Boston, where his body was found later, the Boston Globe reported.
Todd, 54, was reported missing on August 16, as indicated by this poster
He was last seen alive entering Franklin Park, where his lifeless body was found later
"Robert brought extraordinary talents and an incredible vision and dedication to his art and teaching, where he sought to inspire the next generation of filmmakers at Emerson," Pelton said in a message to the university community at the time.
On Tuesday, the school principal revealed that Todd, who was married to associate artist Tessa Day, had been suspended during the fall semester of 2018 for the findings of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
Pelton explained in his statement to the faculty that he decided to shed "illuminating light". about the matter after learning of baseless rumors or rumors that revolve around the Emerson community.
In December of 2017, an Emerson staff member filed a complaint against Todd, accusing him of violating the school's sexual misconduct policy.
Emerson hired an outside investigator, who concluded that the married teacher had engaged in sexual harassment involving multiple "linked incidents," according to Pelton.
Todd, a prolific director of dozens of short films, was accused in December 2017 of sexually harassing an Emerson staff member.
Todd also required working with a professional coach to help him understand the impact of his behaviors.
Pelton said: "These extraordinary circumstances, the public nature of Professor Todd's death, the promulgation of falsehoods and the continued circulation of rumors and speculation forced me to speak to you today to provide accurate and true accounting."
Todd was described as a lyrical and avant-garde filmmaker, and a sonorous and visual artist who had created almost 170 short films to medium-sized films since 1993, with his longest film, the 2011 Master Plan, reaching 61 minutes.
Todd worked in award-winning media programs and taught film production at Boston College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; Art Institute of Boston; University of Massachusetts; and the Boston Film and Video Foundation, according to his Emerson obituary.
Todd is survived by his wife, fellow artist and graduate student of Emerson Tessa Day (right)
Harvard Film Archive, which screened his work, reminded Todd on his Facebook page as "an enormously prolific artist with many talents who was experimental in the background but worked in all genres and films, as well as in music and visual arts" .
Emerson graduate Carson Lund, who now works as a film writer and cinematographer in Los Angeles, wrote of Todd on Twitter that he never had such an idiosyncratic teacher. He is the reason why many of my classmates and I still filmed the movie.
Todd's widow, Tessa Day, is a graduate student at Emerson.
A celebration of life for Todd will take place on September 22 in Ashby, Massachusetts.