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VMI Professor in Limbo After Acceptance of Resignation He Didn’t Formally Offer

The status of an English professor at the Virginia Military Institute is in limbo after the institute accepted his resignation, even though he never offered it formally, according to The Roanoke Times.

The professor, Kurt J. Ayau, said in July that he intended to tell the institute he would leave the English department after 24 years. His departure would be the latest in a mass exodus of faculty members that has decimated the department, following a complaint in which professors accused department leaders of creating a hostile workplace.

The institute then accepted Mr. Ayau’s intent to resign. In a July 18 letter obtained by the newspaper, Brig. Gen. R. Wane Schneiter, the institute’s dean of the faculty, told Mr. Ayau that “although the procedure you have followed does not strictly conform to the guidelines published in VMI’s Faculty Handbook or Regulations, we accept your resignation.”

Mr. Ayau protested, and General Schneiter backed away from accepting the resignation, according to the newspaper. General Schneiter wrote in another letter that he had made a “reasonable assumption” about the professor’s plans, and requested a meeting to seek an explanation.

A VMI spokesman told the newspaper that the institute was “trying to get clarity” on the professor’s status.

Mr. Ayau said it would take “something miraculous” for him to return to teaching in the department. If Mr. Ayau does not return, the newspaper reported that the institute would have to pay adjunct faculty members to cover his courses while it also continued to pay him, until his status was resolved.

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