ORONO – Officials with the University of Maine say the school has placed a professor on paid leave in the wake of complaints from students.

UMaine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle says English professor Robert “Tony” Brinkley was placed on leave on Jan. 2. The university says it’s in the midst of an investigation into Brinkley’s conduct.

Nagle says university has not made a determination if Brinkley violated any policies. She says the school will also ensure the right to privacy of the students who complained.

Brinkley says he has been asked by UMaine to respect the confidentiality of the investigation and he is making no comment.

The university declined to provide details about the nature of the complaints and investigation until the investigation is complete. Brinkley has taught at the university since 1983.