News

Actions

Prof to keep job after sex harassment violation

Posted: 10:31 AM, Dec 08, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-08 10:31:48-05

A University of Akron professor will keep his job, despite an investigation that showed he violated the school's sexual harassment policy.

According to chief communications officer Wayne Hill, the university received two complaints regarding English professor William Thelin—one in 2005 and one in 2015. 

An investigation concluded that Thelin did not violate the policy in 2005, however, he did in 2015.

According to records released to newsnet5.com, Thelin came under fire in 2005 after he allegedly had inappropriate contact with female graduate students at a party in his house, in which alcohol was served.

The dean at the time found that, while Thelin didn't violate policy at that time, he did exercise poor judgment by having a party at his home.

This year, an administrative assistant in the department reported that a "culture of resignation" had occurred in the office because of Thelin's inappropriate behavior toward female student assistants. Reports show the administrative assistant accused Thelin of looking down females' shirts and making inappropriate remarks in the office. 

Administrators say that after Thelin violated the policy, he was counseled regarding appropriate behavior and was required to complete additional training regarding sexual harassment. 

“We work diligently to ensure that faculty and staff comply with the law and with university policies so that all members of the campus community are able to learn and work without concerns about inappropriate or illegal behavior," said Hill. "We will use this situation to evaluate those efforts and see how we can improve.”

Thelin has been employed at the university since 2001.