This is how professors accused of sexual misconduct go back to teaching


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This is how professors accused of sexual misconduct go back to teaching

It’s called ‘passing the trash’

A college professor dismissed from Arizona State University has returned to teaching, in an example of what sexual misconduct campaigners call "passing the trash." Joel Hunter, who used to teach at ASU's Honors College, is currently a faculty member of another school in a different state.

An investigation at his prestigious former college found he had a relationship with a female student that was "nonconsensual," and he was let go from the school. He is employed by Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, teaching courses in philosophy.

A petition is now circulating to remove Hunter from the college. Jasmine Lester, a leading sexual assault activist and founder of Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault, said:

"When colleges hire professors with histories of sexual misconduct, it is no different from when high schools and churches 'pass the trash' and hire teachers and priests accused of sexual abuse at previous institutions."

A screengrab of the petition to fire Joel Hunter

Back in 2014, Hunter was investigated by his employer for having a relationship with a female student known only as Jane. He admitted dating her, a violation of school policy on professor-undergraduate relationship.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, an ASU investigation determined Jane was not in a position to "effectively consent" to their relationship. The college determined his actions were "unwelcome" and "nonconsensual." Hunter was removed from classes, and his contract was not renewed.

Jane told The State Press she was in a relationship with Hunter during her freshman year. "Hunter would touch her, giver her hugs and make her feel special by giving her extra attention," the report said. He took her out to lunch and to a park, giving her alcohol and a massage. They kissed and then later in their relationship, they began to have sex.

  • Jane explained that she became scared about what would happen if she turned him down, which she said led to suicidal thoughts. Speaking to Fox 10, she said:

    "Even though it wasn't an exchange of sexual favors for academic ones, he coerced me into sexual things I didn't want to do, because I was thinking in the back of my mind 'I don't want to upset him and get a bad grade on the next paper, and he just wrote me a nice letter of recommendation so I guess I owe him.'

    "I felt like I had to protect him and was worried that getting help would jeopardize his job, so I suffered in silence and the pain grew worse and I self-harmed and almost killed myself."

    Find out more about the petition to fire Joel Hunter here.


    Elena V. Bubnova, TMCC's Associate Vice President, told babe she is investigating Joel Hunter. She said:

    "Mr. Hunter is a part-time instructor employed since 2015 and is scheduled to teach 3 web-based classes in fall 2018. The issue about past allegations has just been brought to our attention and we immediately started looking into the matter. At this time, we are not able to comment further on confidential, personnel-related issues that may be under review. TMCC condemns harassment in all forms against any individual."

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