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Taylor Johnston and Ellen Wagner make important decisions about the Post in the editors' office on the evening of Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Editorial: What draws the line when it comes to reporting inappropriate behavior?

Correction appended.

Ohio University has failed students in providing a safe learning environment.  

Yusuf Kalyango recently began the process to lose his tenure due to the sexual assault allegations against him. Although his teaching and advising duties are suspended, he is still doing research at the university and making a salary of $106,000.

A student reported multiple instances in which they felt they were being sexually harassed by Kalyango. The student stepped down from their position and has since filed lawsuits against the university and Kalyango. 

The student went to two faculty members and was told not to report the harassment. 

Judy Millesen, the supervisor of the Africa trip and an OU professor who is also a mandatory sexual harassment reporter, allegedly told the student that Kalyango’s misconduct “was an unfortunate part of the job,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also alleged that Mary Rogus, a journalism professor and a friend of Kalyango, tried to persuade the student not to report him to the Equity and Civil Rights Compliance Office.

With the responses the student received from faculty, it seems like this was known behavior of Kalyango. His behavior should have been reported sooner since it probably has happened before. 

As a newsroom with many students in the journalism school, it’s very disheartening to see something like this happening. 

We are always told to report something that falls into a category like this. There have been countless training sessions and workshops across campus, and courses have provided descriptions in syllabi about the policy. Therefore, having a faculty member say something to a student to refrain them from reporting something that otherwise made them uncomfortable does not provide a clear understanding of what students should do in a situation similar to this. 

The student was failed by those at the university who were put in place in order to protect them. 

The ECRC recommended that if Kalyango stays in his position, he should receive training to OU policies, including sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking. 

No professor should be allowed to stay in their position if they have been found to be taking advantage of students. Professors are meant to teach and advise on topics in order to prepare students for life after graduation. Seeking personal and inappropriate relationships with students is using power to pressure students and creating an unhealthy and unsafe learning environment. 

Suspension of faculty members is justified only if the person is an immediate harm to themselves or others. Although Kalyango is suspended, his research still allows him to be at the university. Once his suspension is over, he could go back to teaching students and continuing an unsafe work environment again. 

If he is considered a harm to himself or students, he should not be allowed to be around students. It is unsettling to know that one day Kalyango could be back teaching in the journalism school one day as if nothing happened. 

Since Kalyango is suspended, he should not be reaping the benefits of his salary. When looking at our Salary Guide, his salary ranks 558 of the 4,431 salaries provided, ranking him in the 15% of OU salaries.

With protests and discussion of salary cuts during the budget crisis, why should he still be getting paid when so many other professors might lose their jobs?

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Ellen Wagner and Digital Managing Editor Taylor Johnston. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated Yusuf Kalyango lost his tenure. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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