Bloomsburg University must reinstate a professor it fired in 2017 over sexual relationships he had with two students, according to the appellate Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.The decision upholds an arbitrator’s earlier order that Bloomsburg reinstate the professor with back pay, based on the finding that he did not violate the university’s consensual relationship policy.Barrett was placed on administrative leave almost immediately, pending an investigation.Bloomsburg formally terminated him the next month, citing his lack of professional judgment in engaging in sexual relationships with two students and “engaging in sexual conduct” without the student’s consent.In March, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court refused to hear Lock Haven University’s appeal of a lower court’s order that it rehire Charles Morgan, a professor of math it fired in 2016 upon discovering his decades-old conviction for child sex abuse.That lower court decision upheld an earlier arbitration ruling in Morgan’s favor.Flexibility Remain flexible as college lists evolve.
While Bloomsburg is acting as if it must reinstate “a criminal,” Brobson wrote, the “obvious problem with the university’s contention here is that there is no record that [Barrett] was ever charged with, prosecuted for or convicted of indecent sexual assault stemming from the alleged acts.” An arbitration award “is not the proper venue to litigate whether a grievant is guilty of a crime,” Brobson added.
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