An Ohio University professor of journalism was found on Friday to have sexually harassed a graduate student.
Through an Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance investigation, Yusuf Kalyango, director of the Institute for International Journalism, was found responsible for sexual harassment by quid pro quo and sexual harassment by hostile work environment toward a graduate student last year.
The Post does not name people who report sexual harassment or assault unless they give permission. The student who reported harassment declined to comment at this time. Kalyango was not available for an interview before press time.
The ECRC findings are based on a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning the office found that Kalyango more likely than not sexually harassed the student. That standard is lower than the standard of criminal proceedings, which require a defendant to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The student had been hired as a staff member in spring 2017 for two upcoming programs run by Kalyango when Kalyango offered the student an opportunity to travel abroad with him. The student had been hired to work during a summer program and a fall program, and the trip abroad directly followed the summer program.
Just two days before Kalyango and the student were scheduled to depart, Kalyango told her they would have to share a hotel room because only one was available. The student rejected that as inappropriate and Kalyango tried to convince her otherwise, according to the report. Kalyango ended up staying in another city.
An ECRC investigator found that there was no “reasonable, non-sexual rationale” for the two to share a hotel room.
“The only reasonable objective perspective is that a full professor requested that a graduate student enrolled in his own institution place herself at considerable risk for inappropriate, sexual advances by (him) thousands of miles from home and in a country with which (he) is familiar and comfortable but where (she) would be nearly completely dependent upon (him),” wrote investigator G. Antonio Anaya.
Kalyango had reportedly emailed and texted the student after-hours frequently throughout spring and would compliment her clothing and physique. Kalyango asked the student for a photo of her to show his son, invited her out for meals and coffee numerous times and shared personal details about his previous marriage, according to the report.
After the student rejected Kalyango’s invitation to stay in the same hotel room, he began to treat her differently, according to the report.
In July, Kalyango sent the student an email accusing her of falsifying evaluations for the summer program in order to make herself look better and him worse and entering incomplete and inaccurate data. The student resigned from her position in the fall program Kalyango directed.
The ECRC report has been submitted to Kalyango’s department chair and the Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth for possible disciplinary action, according to the report. Students enrolled in Kalyango’s classes have been notified that he will not be teaching those courses, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Director Robert Stewart said.