Students call professor's suicide "devastating" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Students call professor's suicide "devastating"


IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Students in the University of Iowa School of Music say Mark Weiger was instrumental in helping the School of Music recover after the June floods. One student said the music school wouldn't be where it is today without him. Now the school is reeling after learning that Weiger killed himself at his home Wednesday.

"I think it's devastating for everyone," music theory student Patrick Fitzgibbon said.  "We tried to conduct class today, but of course it was difficult to focus."

Fitzgibbon says its been tough for his classmates to come to grips with Weiger's death.

"He was a good human being and I think he was misrepresented," Fitzgibbon said.

On Friday a lawsuit was filed against Weiger by one of his former students. The lawsuit accused Weiger of sexual harassment and that he inappropriately touched another student. Many that knew him paint a much different picture.

"He was very well liked," music student Trevor Loes said.  "He was an absolutely tremendous performer."

"He was extremely devoted to the school and toward furthering its interests," Fitzgibbon added.

The news has left both students and faculty asking why.

"I just can't imagine what he was going through in the last couple days that would have led him to do this," Loes said.

"This was really quite a shock and it's very sad that it came to this and that he felt he had to take his own life," music theory professor Nicole Biamonte said.

Weiger was the Assistant Director of the School of Music and spent 20 years at Iowa. His death has left those who knew him wondering how he'll be replaced.

"There's a definite attitude I would say of trepidation and uncertainty," Biamonte said. "Certainly this is terrible publicity for the university as a whole on the heels of the Arthur Miller poli sci event."

When asked what kind of loss this is for the university, Fitzgibbon responded simply, "Enormous."

For the second time in the past three months, a university professor has taken his own life amidst allegations of sexual misconduct. Iowa professor Arthur Miller killed himself after a student accused him of asking to fondle her in exchange for better grades. His body was discovered in August in Iowa City's Hickory Hill Park.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel


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