UB Director of Financial Aid John Gottardy verbally abused employees, according to UUP statement

Ten employees reported complaints against Gottardy over past five years

Ten employees from the financial aid office have made “specific complaints” against Director of Financial Aid John Gottardy since his hiring in November 2013, according to a statement from the United University Professions, Buffalo Center Chapter sent to employees last week.

The complaints were filed with the employee relations office over Gottardy’s “behavior of retaliation, stalking, and acts that intimidate, bully, harass, or cause fear of harm,” and have created a hostile work environment “with an atmosphere of retaliation and resentment,” according to the statement.

Gottardy declined to comment.

“The university is aware of UUP’s statement regarding the Division of Financial Aid,” said UB spokesperson John Della Contrada in an official statement. “To preserve confidentiality and recognizing that all employees are entitled to due process, the university does not comment on individual personnel matters. The university thoroughly investigates all received concerns of employee conduct and responds as circumstances warrant, to foster a supportive, positive and efficient workplace for all.”

Gottardy remains in the position of director during the investigation. UUP said reassigning Gottardy would be a “small step” to “protect the complainants from ongoing abuse” in its statement.

UUP’s statement also said Gottardy’s behavior has caused “competent employees” to leave the university and some employees “to seek psychological assistance.”

Della Contrada declined to comment further on personnel matters.

This is a developing story.

Dan McKeon is the co-managing editor and can be reached at dan.mckeon@ubspectrum.com and @Dan_McKeon_.