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UC report: students in band 'felt publicly humiliated' by director and associate director

Top band directors reinstated after paid leave
UC marching band
Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 19:25:30-05

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati internal investigation found students in UC Bearcat Bands 'felt publicly humiliated' by the top two directors during practice and rehearsals, and 'did not feel comfortable meeting in offices alone with the directors.'

The investigation found Director Christopher Nichter and Assoc. Director Nicholas Angelis violated university policy by being 'discourteous' toward students, according to letters that UC Asst. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Juan Guardia wrote to the two directors in February.

UC placed Nichter and Angelis on paid leave on Dec. 17.

They were not allowed to participate with the band when students performed two weeks later at the Cotton Bowl where UC lost to Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

There were 'areas of concern presented as recurring themes' by students, Guardia wrote in the letters to Nichter and Angelis.

"Students have witnessed their peers being brought to tears and are reluctant to bring concerns directly to directors," Guardia wrote.

According to Guardia's letters, Nichter and Angelis received 'verbal counseling.'

Both men are required to complete the lessons Fighting Gender Bias at Work and Compassionate Leadership.

Guardia's letters also informed the two directors that they're required to develop a plan that will 'foster a healthy, collaborative, and equitable band community.'

UC reinstated Nichter on Feb. 9.

The university reinstated Angelis on Feb. 15.

At the bottom of his letter, Angeles wrote, "I don't agree and dispute the findings on which the allegations are based. I also will comply with the work agreement."

Nichter did not write a comment on his letter.

Angelis and Nichter did not immediately respond to the I-Team's emails and voicemail messages requesting their comments.

According to Gaurdia's letters, Nichter and Angelis could be terminated if they don't comply with the conditions of their reinstatement.