Dear alumni, friends, and members of the College of Law community,
You may have learned from recent media reports that Professor Jay Kesan was the subject of a University investigation into alleged misconduct occurring prior to the fall of 2015. The investigation – conducted by central campus from 2015 until the fall of 2017 – found that Professor Kesan did not violate the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, but did breach its more generic Code of Conduct. Though a version of the investigative report now is available through some media outlets, this remains a personnel matter, which means I and other members of the College and University administration are constrained in what we can say about many aspects of the allegations, findings, and sanctions.
I appreciate that these limitations can be frustrating, and that many of you may be disappointed in the ultimate disposition of the University’s investigation. But please know the College takes these matters seriously. Misconduct, intentional or not, that threatens educational access, opportunities, and equality is not acceptable. As the College of Law wrote in its Response to the University’s investigative report, now that Professor Kesan has been disciplined, he should well understand that if there are future violations of this type on his part, of either the University Code of Conduct or the Sexual Misconduct Policy, then the employment consequences are likely to be severe, including, potentially, the loss of tenure or employment.
More generally, the College actively encourages conversation on matters of campus climate and equity. For example, earlier this week we hosted a panel discussion on “#MeToo and Academia,” and next week we will participate in a student-organized town-hall style discussion in order to hear additional questions and concerns from the members of our College community stemming from recent events.
Our goal is to maintain a learning and working environment that is safe, comfortable and fair for all students, staff, and faculty.
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Vikram David Amar
Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law
University of Illinois College of Law