A tenured KU faculty member will take sick leave to seek counseling for his stalking obsession.
A Kansas University associate professor convicted of stalking his former therapist agreed today to take an indefinite leave of absence.
Hobart Jackson Jr., who has been on the KU faculty for 24 years, will use accumulated sick leave to seek treatment for his stalking fetish. He earns $45,407 annually and will be paid his full salary while on leave.
On Tuesday, the Journal-World detailed Jackson's stalking behavior during the past two years. He began harassing his former Lawrence therapist after their professional relationship ended in August 1993.
Jackson, a tenured associate professor of architecture and urban design, said he would participate in group and individual therapy.
"I have invested considerable time and money in an effort to resolve my problem," he said. "Most observers feel I have made considerable progress, but I am not free of my symptoms."
John Gaunt, dean of architecture and urban design at KU, said university officials negotiated the medical leave with Jackson. Such leave is voluntary, he said.
"He recognizes he has a problem to deal with," Gaunt said.
Jackson, 54, pled no contest in Douglas County District Court to misdemeanor stalking in July 1994.
He faced a six-month jail sentence, but was placed in the county's community corrections program for two years.
In May, he was arrested for breaking corrections program rules prohibiting contact with the therapist. He made a harassing phone call from his campus office to her house and watched her house from a car parked on the street.
Jackson said he wouldn't teach at KU until after a judge decides whether to punish Jackson for violating the corrections program. A court hearing is scheduled for September.
"I express my heartfelt sorrow and regret to the many members of the community to whom this news comes as a shock and a disappointment," Jackson said.
Architecture professionals will be hired to take on Jackson's course load this fall semester, Gaunt said.