Professor Retains Attorney, Responds As More Investigations Come To Light

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ATHENS — A second case of sexual harassment against Ohio University professor Yusuf Kalyango, Jr., is under investigation, making three university investigations against the Journalism teacher, according to sources with knowledge of the investigations.

Yusuf Kalyango, Jr.

A former journalism student is currently working with the OU Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance based on her allegations of sexual harassment against Kalyango, WOUB has learned.

Though the university does not comment on or confirm the existence of open ECRC cases, the presence of the investigations was confirmed to WOUB by multiple sources made aware of the cases.

Kalyango, through his attorney, said he “absolutely denies” any sexual harassment and gender harassment, and plans to fight the allegations. His attorney, John Marshall, told WOUB in a series of emails that he had not been able to review all of the documents related to the investigation, but would have a more detailed response later this week.

The existence of the investigation came amid recent news that ECRC closed an investigation against Kalyango which substantiated allegations of quid pro quo (this for that) sexual harassment, sexual harassment by hostile work environment and harassment based on gender. A third case, this time of alleged retaliation by Kalyango, is also reportedly under investigation, related to the closed ECRC case.
The woman in the first case, currently a second-year graduate student, told WOUB her experience and the process of reporting the allegations took a toll on her education and personal well-being last year.
“I didn’t want to leave my house,” she said. “My grades used to be very important to me, but I started just doing what I could to get by. I didn’t know I could ask for extensions because of (the investigation), and even if I’d known that, I didn’t want other professors to treat me differently…I just didn’t want to be that girl.”
ECRC investigators found the evidence provided by her and Kalyango supported her claims, particularly because Kalyango “provided a number of inconsistent and contradictory…explanations” during an interview about multiple allegations including that he’d ordered one hotel room for a trip to Africa, and asked her to share it with him.
On Aug. 28, an OU spokesperson said Kalyango had been suspended, and his classes had been restaffed.
In response to an email sent on Sunday, Marshall made it clear Kalyango believes someone is unlawfully releasing information about his cases.
“I can tell you, as you may know, that University Policy and perhaps federal law was violated by disclosure of this preliminary report — before my client has his full rights to contest,” Marshall wrote. “We do not know who did it, but we are going to find out. It is sad that (Kalyango’s) rights to confidentiality were violated and his reputation damaged, before the process concluded.”
ECRC reports of closed cases can be made available through Ohio Public Records law. Participants in the investigation are “encouraged to keep the matter private” but are not required to do so.
Though Kalyango’s first accuser said the closure of the case and current administrative action against him gives her more peace of mind, the last 13 months made her feel differently about the institution she chose to further her education.
“I just want to be done and get out,” she said. “I was so excited to be here when I started (the graduate program), and with this whole thing…I just want to go, and it shouldn’t be like that.”
While she is ready to move on, Kalyango said he is ready to fight. In one of the emails Marshall sent to WOUB, he expressed his concern that his client will have to deal with the timing of news stories and public perception beyond the ECRC investigation.
“Well, you need to do your job as you see fit but it’s really not the same,” Marshall wrote. “The initial story will do the damage but the follow up, it will be read by only a few. That’s the way it works.”
You can read WOUB’s initial story on this investigation here.