During his paid administrative leave, an English professor accused of sexual harassment received $143,000 in pay from the university.
Andrew Escobedo submitted his official resignation in August when he was facing dismissal and detenuring. His resignation took effect Nov. 1.
In March 2016, an Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance investigation found that he more likely than not sexually harassed students in cases spanning more than a decade.
Six students filed complaints with the office, and investigators found enough evidence to substantiate four of those complaints.
The two graduate students who filed the initial complaints, Susanna Hempstead and Christine Adams, said Escobedo bought them drinks at local bars and sexually touched them without consent.
OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said the university evaluates whether leave should be paid or unpaid on a “case-by-case basis,” but most employees are paid during investigations and disciplinary proceedings.
“When administrative leave is implemented, Ohio University’s historical practice has been to pay employees throughout the course of the investigation and while the employees are being afforded their due process rights,” Leatherwood said in an email.
Had Escobedo not submitted his resignation, he would have faced an OU Faculty Senate hearing Sept. 1. Faculty Senate would have written a report from the September hearing and would have presented it to the OU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 20 meeting, and Escobedo’s dismissal could have taken effect that day.
Therefore, Escobedo’s resignation could have extended the time he was paid by the university by several days.
Leatherwood said the process could have taken longer than that, though — if the Faculty Senate committee had disagreed with the president’s decision, the Board of Trustees could have asked the committee to reconsider, which would have extended the process.
“So, all that said, the earliest date of his dismissal would have been October 20th, but it is likely the process could have extended past November 1,” Leatherwood said in an email.
Hempstead and Adams have filed a complaint in federal court alleging that the university failed to look into a previous complaint of misconduct by Escobedo, allowing his behavior to continue and eventually violating the two students’ rights to equal access to education. Adams, Hempstead and Escobedo have requested a jury trial. Their case enters mediation on Dec. 11.