A Utah State dean whose department was investigated for abusing piano students is stepping down

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Craig Jessop conducts the American Festival Chorus during the Canyon Road Memorial Program in Logan, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.

The dean of Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts is leaving his administrative post, the university says, four months after an investigation found evidence of pervasive sexual and psychological abuse in the school’s piano program.

Craig Jessop will step down as dean next summer, the university said in a news release, and, after a hiatus, he plans to return as a full-time music professor in 2020.

Earlier this year, several piano students told of rape and abuse at the hands of professors in the department. The head piano teacher resigned after an investigation and the interim program coordinator was reassigned.

According to the investigation, Jessop was told about allegations and abuse in the department. That investigation found no record of the dean forwarding the complaint to human-resource officials.

Jessop joined USU in 2008, the same year that he surprised the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by resigning as director. He was the first dean of the Caine College of Arts, according to the school’s news release.

A Utah State University spokesman did not respond to a voicemail requesting comment Tuesday evening.