UI professor to be put on unpaid leave

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – The University of Illinois law professor at the center of backlash over what critics call a lack of punishment will be on unpaid leave for all of 2019.

A letter dated Friday from Virkam David Amar, the dean of the law school, said he and Jay Kesan agreed that unpaid leave of absence would be best for the university.

According to the letter, Kesan will receive no salary from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The letter said the time off will allow Kesan to, “…reflect deeply on his past misconduct, the harm that it has caused, and what is needed to ensure it does not ever recur going forward in any situation in which he finds himself.”

Kesan has also started receiving professional counseling. In an attached statement, Kesan wrote his is sorry and that, “…words will never be enough to show that my remorse is real.” He also wrote he will make an investigation’s findings available for five years to any students who take a course of his or work with him in the future.

Three accusers say Kesan discussed inappropriate topics with them during professional meetings including: inquiring about their sex lives, masturbation, and inviting them to stay at his Chicago apartment. An investigation into those allegations started in 2015. A 2017 report found Kesan violated the U of I’s code of conduct, but he was allowed to keep his tenured position.

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