Journalism professor Sean Baker unlikely to return this semester


A1_Sean BakerProfessor Sean Baker, who took a personal leave of absence after an intoxicated incident and a string of altercations with other journalism professors, is unlikely to make a return to teaching classes this semester.

Journalism department officials said they were given notice that Baker would not return after his slated two-week leave of absence "until further notice."

An email notifying professors of Baker's status was sent out by Jiafei Yin, the chair of the department. According to the email, Baker's status and future with the department is still unknown.

Professors will be meeting with Salma Ghanem, dean of the College of Communications and Fine Arts, and Dennis Armistead, the director of faculty and employee relations in the Faculty and Personnel Services department, to discuss any updates available on the situation.

"There is a process that we have to follow (when looking at professor conduct)," Ghanem said. "We haven't had to do anything like this before, so we are doing our due diligence while also trying to protect the professor's privacy."

Journalism professors were concerned about the lack of action to address Baker's conduct as it progressed over the past few years, as well as concerns about the perceived unwillingness on Ghanem's part to share all available information.

Ghanem said she has tried to be in contact with professors as much as possible.

Calls to Armistead to confirm whether Baker is under a formal inquiry or investigation of misconduct were not immediately returned before press time.

The meeting with Armistead and Ghanem is scheduled for 2 p.m. on April 11.


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