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Disciplined Humphrey professor resigns, according to faculty mentor

James Ron was suspended last year following an investigation into alleged sexual harassment.
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs as seen on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Image by Nur B. Adam
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs as seen on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Editors note: there has been an update to this story. James Ron is currently a University employee and performing faculty duties. 

James Ron, a tenured professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, resigned Monday, according to his faculty mentor Ragui Assaad.

Ron, a preeminent human rights scholar, was placed on a five-month unpaid leave earlier this year by Humphrey Dean Laura Bloomberg after a University investigation found that he “more likely than not” violated University sexual harassment policy. He returned to teach at the beginning of fall semester. 

Bloomberg assigned Assaad, an economics professor at the Humphrey School, to act as Ron’s post-discipline faculty mentor. Assaad said Ron told him of his resignation, and that Ron is “mentally and physically well.”

According to Jake Ricker, University director of public relations, Ron’s is currently still a University employee. Ricker said because of legal limitations, he could not share anything other than his current employment status. 

In an email sent Friday morning, Bloomberg informed students Ron is no longer teaching his fall semester classes

The Humphrey School declined to comment, according to Director of Communications Keith Hovis. Ron could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

In the email, Bloomberg said arrangements are being made to cover Ron’s course load and the “primary goal right now is to minimize any disruption this may cause for students enrolled in these classes.”

Ron was teaching two courses this semester and each are now being covered by other instructors within Humphrey. The email said Associate Dean Carissa Slotterback is “working closely with both instructors to ensure coursework continues as seamlessly as possible.”

Bloomberg also wrote that she hopes to “share more specific information with [students] in the very near future.”

Ron was slated to teach the school’s only human rights capstone course in the spring, leading some students to raise concerns with administration. 

Some students have criticized Humphrey administration for what they call a lack of transparency in informing students about sexual harassment allegations against Ron and another Humphrey professor. A coalition of students are demanding policy changes from Bloomberg’s office, calling for modifications to the tenure code. 

This is a breaking news report. More information may be added as it becomes available. 

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