Professors Wonder Why Colleague Allowed to Teach

December 7, 2015

English professors at the University of Akron are complaining to senior administrators about why one of their colleagues, found by the university to have engaged in multiple forms of inappropriate conduct with students, is still allowed to teach, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. The university has found that William Thelin, after drinking with students, took a female student home, where she alleged he tried to kiss her. Further, the university found that he took students to a bar and, while in class, encouraged students to drink. A report by the university was particularly critical of Thelin for taking a student to his home after they were together drinking at a bar. “Dr. Thelin made a choice to not only endanger his own life, by driving after consuming several alcoholic beverages … but he put the student’s life in danger,” said a university's investigator's report. “Parents trust the University of Akron administrators to protect their children while they are away at college.”

Thelin, in a statement to the newspaper, said, “While I acknowledge and regret one isolated instance of poor judgment on my part, the report also includes distortions, hearsay, exaggerations, innuendo and out-and-out fabrications …. Therefore, I dispute the conclusions drawn by EEO. I wish, though, to put this incident behind me and move forward in a positive direction. I have done all that was asked of me and more in response to recommendations made in light of the judgment against me and feel I have learned.”

A university spokesperson told the newspaper that Akron followed the recommendations of its investigators in the case, and that Thelin was required to meet with administrators, and to retake sexual harassment training.

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