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Archive for Thursday, January 4, 1996

CONVICTED STALKER RETURNS TO TEACHING

January 4, 1996

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A KU professor found guilty of misdemeanor stalking plans to end a voluntary leave of absence.

A Kansas University faculty member convicted of stalking his former Lawrence therapist will return to teaching next week, KU officials said Wednesday.

Hobart Jackson Jr., associate professor of architecture and urban design, was assigned two elective photography courses for the spring semester.

Jackson, of Lawrence, anticipates his presence in KU classrooms will create a backlash among students.

"I suspect there may be some of that," he said. "I'll hope for the best."

Jackson has been on paid, voluntary medical leave since August.

He was found guilty of misdemeanor stalking in Douglas County District Court in 1994 and sentenced to a community corrections program. He admitted to breaking terms of that program last year by having contact with the woman.

The victim, who asked not to be identified, said Jackson began stalking her in 1993.

John Gaunt, dean of architecture and urban design at KU, said he was confident Jackson's return to teaching was the right step. The two made the decision jointly.

"I think we're acting responsibly," Gaunt said. "I feel good personally."

Gaunt said Jackson had taken responsibility for his actions, remained in therapy and was in compliance with community corrections guidelines.

The dean said some KU students had expressed reservations about Jackson's decision. Jackson wasn't assigned required courses in an effort to minimize student reaction.

Jackson said assuming teaching responsibilities would be beneficial in terms of his recovery.

"I missed the structure of the classroom in the fall," he said. "I'm looking forward to it, but I expect the first few classes I'll be nervous."

Jackson has been on KU's architecture faculty since 1971. He is also a well-known artist and photographer.

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