Professor Faces Detenuring, State Department Reviews Finances at Ohio U

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ATHENS — An Ohio University professor found to have sexually harassed a student employee has been recommended for detenuring by an ethics committee just as the United States Department of State reviews financial expenditures connected to him.

Dr. Yusuf Kalyango.

Claims that Dr. Yusuf Kalyango sexually harassed and created a hostile work environment for a student employee of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and the Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) were found to be substantiated in August by OU’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance.

Both YALI and SUSI are administered by the Institute for International Journalism, which is headed by Kalyango, according to a profile on the E. W. Scripps Journalism School website.

That report was brought to a University Professional Ethics Committee (UPEC) convened earlier this fall by the president of the Faculty Senate. After meeting for seven hours over three days, the six-person committee unanimously found “adequate cause to recommend initiation of loss of tenure proceedings,” according to a letter sent Friday by committee chair, Shelley Delaney, to Dr. Chaden Djalali, Executive Vice President and Provost.

Djalali will now review the recommendations before sending his own recommendation to President Duane Nellis, who will make the final decision.

In recommending loss of tenure, the committee stated key issues in the case, such as a “recurring discrepancy between the documented evidence and the answers given by (Kalyango)” and a “lack of acknowledgement of the power dynamic inherent in his position of authority.”

“The respondent (Kalyango) is in a position of power, which the complainant (the woman in the sexual harassment case) is not,” the committee stated. “This power appeared to be used to intimidate and control the complainant.”

The committee went on to say Kalyango overlooked “common sense standards regarding the boundaries between faculty and students…time and time again,” and other “ethical challenges and conundrums” were not confronted.

Two others cases alleging wrongdoing by Kalyango – another alleged sexual harassment case and one case of alleged retaliation – are still being investigated by the university.

As the ethics committee made its decision, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs conducted a “site visit” at the university “as a result of the recent happenings concerning…Yusuf Kalyongo (sic),” according to emails provided to WOUB as part of a public records request.

Kofi Obeng-Asiedu, grants officer for the grants division of the bureau, notified members of OU’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs that they would be conducting a “review of some (of) your accounting books” and interviewing “relevant people from OU” during the visit.

Also notified about the visit were the offices of Finance and Administration, Legal Affairs, and Research Administration.

The office of Legal Affairs was also asked by a law enforcement liaison officer for the state department whether the university had conducted an investigation into altered evaluations for the YALI and SUSI programs, according to another email provided as part of a public records request.

OU’s general counsel, John Biancamano, responded to the request by sending a copy of the ECRC report.

WOUB previously reported the existence of such altered evaluations, which were mentioned in the ECRC report against Kalyango. Both the YALI and SUSI programs are funded with taxpayer dollars through the Department of State.

A request for comment was sent to Kalyango’s attorney. A university spokesperson said Kalyango’s classes have been reassigned and he is no longer working with students, but continues to work in the College of Communications.

This article has been corrected to specify the allegations in two other cases against Kalyango.