UT-Austin releases 17 names of faculty, staff in violation of sexual misconduct policy

Lauren Grobe

Three faculty members and 14 staff members were found in violation of the University’s sexual misconduct policies between November 2017 and December 2019, according to records released Thursday by the University

Integrative biology professor Johann Hofmann, Kevin Dalby, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry professor, and English associate professor Coleman Hutchison were the three named faculty members, according to the Office for Inclusion and Equity’s report. Dalby and Hutchison are both scheduled to teach next semester, according to the spring 2020 course schedule. 

A student told the office in December 2017 that Hofmann tried to start a consensual relationship with a graduate student and made inappropriate sexual comments to the student, according to the report. Hofmann denied making the comments. The office found evidence that the conduct occurred, suspended Hofmann for one semester without pay and prohibited him from holding administrative or leadership positions for two years, among other reprimands. Hofmann is teaching an undergraduate biology course in the spring semester, according to the course schedule.

Last March, an employee told the office that Dalby had allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments to a student, according to the report. Dalby denied making such comments. The office found evidence of misconduct last September and prohibited him from supervising graduate students alone until the fall semester of 2021, according to the report. Dalby is teaching an undergraduate and graduate pharmacy course, according to the course schedule.

The office found that Hutchison failed to disclose a relationship with a student and made inappropriate comments to graduate students. Starting June 2018, he was suspended for two school years from supervising graduate students alone. According to the course schedule, Hutchison is teaching an upper-division English course and is co-teaching American Literature with English professor Evan Carton.

Staff members Bobbie Brooks, Scarleth Gomez-Aguilar and Sonia Keel-Guevara are still employed with the University. 

University spokesperson J.B. Bird said in a statement that the report was released in response to open records requests. Student concerns about the University’s sexual misconduct policies have been growing, as demonstrated by several student sit-ins and protests that occurred in response to Hutchison and Sahotra Sarkar, integrative biology and philosophy professor, being allowed to teach last fall after being found in violation of the University’s sexual misconduct policies. According to a press release from the Coalition Against Sexual Misconduct released Dec. 3, the University informed students the report was supposed to be available by the following week.

“Every individual who serves our university must feel valued, respected and free to learn and work in a safe environment,” Bird said. “Transparency around past violations, which is mandated by the Texas Public Information Act, is an important step toward accountability.”

The Misconduct Working Group, an internal committee reviewing the University’s sexual misconduct policies, met Wednesday. According to the email from Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost, the student-led forum on misconduct will be held on Jan. 27. 

“We will continue to share information and details about the campus forum as they are finalized,” McInnis said in the email.

   OIE Report by Megan M Menchaca on Scribd