Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Michael Sawyer a student at University of Central Arkansas alleges he was sexually harassed by former Harding University Professor, Dr. Ken Stamatis.

Sawyer claims he was wronged during his internship with Stamatis through Harding’s Literacy Lab program and was inflicted with verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and egregious misconduct.

In his Facebook post dated October 11th, Sawyer claims Stamatis screamed and yelled at him behind closed doors; called him highly derogatory names on multiple occasions; would “upgrade” the hotel room from rooms with two beds, to rooms with one bed; and take showers, and come out of the bathroom with a TNT shirt on, and a towel around his waist. He would drop the towel, and parade around the hotel room with nothing covering himself.

Harding University sent a message regarding the situation to its students and employees. It is below.

Students and Employees,

Many of you have seen a public Facebook attributing behavior to a former faculty member toward a contract worker. Conduct such as what is described in this post is never tolerated and would be grounds for termination if substantiated. We take reports like this very seriously. While details of personnel matters are confidential, we feel that it is important to clarify, to the extent possible, our policies and procedures that we follow when concerns of this nature are brought to our attention.

When this report came to the University in July 2017, we began an investigation in accordance with the faculty handbook. In all matters of reported faculty misconduct, evidence is gathered by University officials. The findings must then be presented to the president before a faculty member can be terminated.
In the matter described in the Facebook post, it was in the early stages of the investigation that the faculty member resigned. A number of other individuals were interviewed regarding the reported behavior and whether others had been affected.
Again, the University takes circumstances such as this very seriously and will continue to respond appropriately. Any time there is a concern, the University encourages individuals to report those concerns to a University official.
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