UWS Music Professor Resigns Following Independent Investigation into Criminal Convictions


Matthew Faerber, director of choral activities and a professor of vocal music education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) has resigned after being placed on administrative leave amid investigations into his decade-old conviction of attempted child abuse in Utah.

Faerber, who is also the director of the volunteer Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus, joined UWS' music department in August 1998. UW System did not have a mandatory criminal background check in place for new employees until 2007.  As a result, the officials were unaware of the criminal charges involving two teenage girls.

On August 23rd, the UW System and UW-Superior learnt about Faerber's criminal charges and conviction in 1990. He was immediately placed on paid administrative leave effective Aug. 28.

After an independent review of Faerber was conducted by Edward Brunner, a retired judge, UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter decided to proceed with his dismissal and the administrative leave became unpaid effective Oct.9. However Faerber voluntarily resigned this week.

"Today, UW-Superior announced that Dr. Faerber will voluntarily resign his tenured faculty position, under terms of a separation agreement. We believe that this is a fair and reasonable resolution to a difficult situation, which serves the best interests of students and the entire UW-Superior community," Wachter told Northlands News Center.

Faerber was charged with sexual improprieties involving two 13-year-old music students when he was choir director at Murray High School in Utah. Eventually, he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, which are considered to be third-degree felonies. Faerber was sentenced to six months in jail, ordered counselling at a residential treatment facility and received 36 months of probation.

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