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Archive for Friday, December 4, 1992

T ONLY ONE TO DATE STUDENTS, DEAN SAYS

December 4, 1992

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A Kansas University law professor fighting his dismissal from the faculty wasn't the only law professor to date students during the past 10 years, KU's law dean testified Thursday.

Robert Jerry said at a faculty hearing that he had personal knowledge of three law faculty dating students. He named only one Emil Tonkovich, the professor challenging a recommendation that he be fired.

However, Jerry said, Tonkovich was the only one to date students who were in his classes.

Jerry and KU Chancellor Gene Budig recommended Tonkovich be fired for violating the Faculty Code of Conduct. KU officials allege Tonkovich broke the code by using his position as a faculty member to intimidate law students into sexual relations.

The KU Committee on Tenure and Related Problems has gathered testimony in the case since August.

During previous testimony, a 1991 law graduate alleged Tonkovich pressured her into performing oral sex on him four years ago in a car parked on campus.

Under cross-examination on Thursday, Tonkovich accused Jerry of inadequately investigating that allegation.

Jerry should have followed up on reports that the woman in question was flirting with Tonkovich at a party the night the sex act occurred, Tonkovich said.

"It doesn't matter how much (the woman) was flirting with you at the party," Jerry said.

"There's no question that, in my mind, you had a conversation with her after you left that party and mixed a discussion of grades with sex. I think that was wrong," he said.

Jerry said he believes the female law student's version of events, despite Tonkovich's assertion that he didn't pressure the student into a sexual encounter.

"Emil, you say you did not discuss grades with her. I don't believe that," Jerry said.

The hearing will resume next Thursday in the Kansas Union. KU lawyers and Tonkovich have questioned 21 witnesses during 13 days of testimony. The hearing may continue until March.

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