Written by Andrew Morris
California State University San Marcos Professor Dr. Chetan Kumar was reviewed by officials for reports of misconduct by several students last November.
The violations of school and state education codes led the university to tell Kumar of his termination.
Following this, the employee union stepped in to defend Kumar and appeal to the school, eventually leading the school to drop the termination if he stops talking to the girls who complained.
Investigators looked into four specific instances of misconduct, including one case of a woman who was previously his teacher’s aide. She told investigators that after a prior engagement ended, he said they “should get together to cry on each other’s shoulders.” After this, they planned to get coffee, and after cancellation and several emails and text messages, she begrudgingly agreed to meet.
She later reported to investigators that the meeting was romantically driven, during which he asked several personal questions which were “unprofessional.”
Afterward, he continuously sent text messages, until she asked him to keep their relationship “purely professional” in the future.
Additionally, three other students came forward with reports of romantic encounters which were “unprofessional,” but not “sexual.”
As of now, the university is not firing Dr. Kumar but received paid leave until Feb. 26, and a three-month suspension without pay. The charges on his record will be dropped in three years if no further incidents occur, according to an agreement signed in January by both parties.
This case is a testament to the daunting power of a union. “Unions are just so strong that if the union is telling them, ‘This is what’s going to happen,’ the district does what the union says,” states Terri Miller, president and founder of the Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation group.