Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Posted at the request of some Illinois faculty:
JOINT STATEMENT OF LAW PROFESSORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS:
The College’s students, staff, and faculty value a mutually respectful, intellectually challenging, and safe community for all its members, and Professor Jay Kesan’s actions betrayed those values. The facts outlined in the report authored by the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Access (ODEA) demonstrated the corrosive nature of the environment created by Professor Kesan and the significant harm resulting from his actions. The actions of Professor Kesan — including both offensive statements and unwanted physical contact — constituted behavior deserving of meaningful punishment under any reasonable policy covering sexual misconduct.
Given the facts as found in the report, the sanctions administered do not comport with our sense of justice. Any policies, procedures or practices that improperly limit the scope of sanctions available for dealing with such serious misconduct should be immediately revised.
Our students, through their elected representatives in the Student Bar Association, have called for us to gather as a community to further investigate the circumstances that led us to this point and to seek a path for the future. We, the undersigned law faculty and senior administrators, proudly stand in support of our students. We look forward to working together and with the University administration to address the important concerns being raised. We all could have done — and must do — better.