Today, I would like to share with you that the University has concluded an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior against Dr. Randy Pennington, a tenured faculty member from the School of the Arts (SOTA).
The University launched an investigation immediately after learning of concerns raised on October 23, 2017 by four students and one faculty member. Dr. Pennington was informed of the complaints upon the start of the investigation and immediately placed on administrative leave. He has not taught at the University since being placed on leave.
Upon completing the investigation, the conclusion was that Dr. Pennington violated the University’s sexual misconduct policy, specifically, sexual harassment as defined within the policy. In accordance with the process outlined in the faculty handbook, university administrators met with Dr. Pennington to informally address the matter. As a result of those discussions, Dr. Pennington today agreed to waive further due process rights, including his right to a formal hearing regarding the termination of his employment for violating NKU’s sexual misconduct policy. He also has submitted his resignation, thereby ending his employment at NKU. He will not return to teach at NKU or in any other employment capacity.
I am proud of the students and faculty member who brought this matter to our attention. Sexual harassment or misconduct has no place on our campus. We expect our employees to act with integrity and serve as trusted advisors and positive role models for our students. We all play an important role in the shared success of our university, and we have an obligation to raise questions or concerns when something doesn’t seem right.
If you have a question or concern about someone’s conduct, I encourage you to talk with your supervisor, a member of the Human Resources office, or a Title IX deputy coordinator. The NKU Ethics & Compliance Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reports can be made anonymously at 1-855-597-4539 or www.nku.ethicspoint.com.
We will continue to work aggressively to prevent inappropriate behavior while proactively educating and supporting our campus community. We promote a culture among our students, faculty and staff that fosters a safe, healthy and inclusive learning environment for all.
Gerard A. St. Amand
Northern Kentucky University
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099