“If [faculty] have been convicted of a crime particularly when it comes to a sexual nature against a student, then I would assume that it would not be in the best interest of the university,” – Governor Eddie Calvo.
Guam – Following a guilty verdict of UOG Associate Professor Michael Ehlert, the man convicted of third degree criminal sexual conduct, the university is now tasked with addressing possible termination of the convicted sexual offender.
According to UOG’s Faculty Contract, a faculty member could be terminated for a myriad of reasons ranging from a felony conviction to the sexual harassment of students.
In fact, the termination rules are fairly broad enough to include a faculty member found in violation of any university policy.
The governance document adds that the president of the university has “sole authority to dismiss any tenured or non-tenured faculty member.”
Although Ehlert’s guilty verdict occurred only yesterday, this isn’t the first time that UOG’s President Robert Underwood was pressured to act on the man painted by prosecutors as a “dirty white professor.”
Governor Eddie Calvo was among the first few public voices championing for sexual assault survivors long before the Ehlert trial took place.
Fast forward to present day and the Governor is still of the opinion that any convicted sexual assault felons shouldn’t be allowed to teach at the university.
“You have someone who was entrusted in this position to instruct students, and if they have been convicted of a crime particularly when it comes to a sexual nature against a student then I would assume that it would not be to the best interest to the university and particularly students that the professor is allowed to continue teaching and/or employment with at the university,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, the University of Guam released a statement yesterday regarding Ehlert’s verdict:
“The University behaved responsibly and in accordance with its core values,” said Dr. Robert Underwood, UOG President.
Underwood added that the university “fully cooperated with law enforcement and the Attorney General’s office as they conducted their investigations.”
In 2016, the university updated its sexual misconduct policy to be clearer. The release notes that “any form of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated within the UOG community. The University urges its students, employees, and the community to report, to intervene, and to advocate for those who have experienced sexual misconduct.”
Apart from their statement lauding the sexual assault survivors in the Ehlert trial, the university remains mum on any potential termination or disciplinary action on the now convicted sexual offender.