An associate dean at New Mexico State University has resigned amid allegations that he e-mailed pornographic pictures to a junior faculty member who, along with his wife, was denied tenure at the university, according to a report in the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Larry K. Olsen was an associate dean in the College of Health and Social Services. James Robinson, head of the university’s health-science department — where the two junior professors work — has temporarily stepped down while the university investigates their tenure cases and the pornography charges. Mr. Robinson turned down the couple’s tenure bids after a faculty panel had unanimously voted to approve them, according to the Sun-News.
The two junior faculty members, John Moraros and Yelena Bird, told newspaper reporters that they believed they had been denied tenure because they are members of ethnic minority groups. Mr. Moraros is Greek and Mexican, and Ms. Bird, a native of England, is black.
Another professor in the college said she had seen the e-mailed pornorgraphy that Mr. Olsen is alleged to have sent to Mr. Moraros. Mr. Moraros said he complained to Mr. Olsen about the graphic sexual images in February, shortly before Mr. Robinson decided that Mr. Moraros and Ms. Bird should not receive tenure.
According to the Associated Press, university administrators told the junior faculty members that they had been denied tenure because they were not a good “fit” with the university. Students have collected 500 signatures protesting the tenure decisions. —Robin Wilson