UPDATE, Feb. 18, 2:32 p.m.: The University has confirmed that Hansen will remain a tenured professor in the college of pharmacy.
"Disciplinary action regarding faculty, up to and including dismissal, are handled according to the faculty handbook. For any tenured faculty member, the university would not comment on any part of the process — whether the process was initiated or the outcome," said Preston Sparks, director of University communication services in a statement. "According to the Dismissal of Tenured Faculty policy, 'Public statements and publicity about the case by either the faculty member or the University administration shall be avoided as far as possible.'"
In an email sent to students, faculty and staff of the Harrison College of Pharmacy, Provost Bill Hardgrave announced that Rick Hansen, dean of the college of pharmacy, resigned from his position.
"Dr. Hansen's resignation is in the best interest of the college and the university," Hardgrave said.
Yesterday, the Plainsman reported that Hansen had sexually harassed a student last spring, though details of the corrective action implemented by Title IX were unknown even to the victim.
Dan Surry, associate dean for faculty affairs and strategic initiatives, will serve as acting dean until an interim dean is chosen following an "internal search." The interim dean will likely serve between 12-18 months, per Hardgrave's email.
"As we move swiftly to implement this leadership change, it is important to emphasize that Auburn remains committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff," Hardgrave said. "Any students, faculty or staff with questions should contact my office during this critical time of transition."
A national search will be conducted to find a permanent dean.
In another email sent to students, faculty and staff across campus, the University said, "The creation and maintenance of a safe environment for our students will always be the highest priority for Auburn. The university prohibits sexual harassment and addresses all reports under its policies, including allegations of off-campus conduct when appropriate."
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