Records: Those actively banned from KU’s campus include some from ticket scandal, convicted violent criminals
photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World File Photo
At least 24 individuals are actively banned from all or parts of the University of Kansas campus, according to records obtained by the Journal-World.
The Journal-World’s review found that while KU has express authority — given by the Kansas Board of Regents — to ban individuals from the public campus, the university does not have a policy in place that guides when the university issues a ban or for how long a ban will last.
As a result, the records show a wide range in the length of bans and also the type of behavior that leads to a ban. The records show bans currently range from two years to indefinitely, and the type of conduct resulting in a ban includes criminal sex acts, theft and misuse of KU property, and aggressive behavior over job denials.
The information from KU also makes it clear that the university is under no obligation to wait for criminal cases to proceed before issuing a ban, nor is the university required to lift a ban if an individual has been accused of a crime but is later found not guilty. That was clear in a 2017 case where a man was charged with stealing more than $13,000 in materials from a KU laboratory. A jury, however, later found him not guilty. According to the records provided by KU, the man is still subject to a five-year ban from the campus.
The history of active bans indicates some variance in ban lengths for those accused of, and in some cases convicted of, similar actions. When asked about the differences, KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said there is no university policy that speaks to the specific time a person may be banned from campus based on the action that led to discipline.
“… actions that may constitute grounds for exclusion from campus are not necessarily crimes nor adjudicated,” she said in an email. “There is no university policy on a time period for bans, as those authorized to issue bans are allowed to exercise judgment.”
A former high-profile case is one of the instances where multiple people were involved, but the bans weren’t uniform. Four individuals who were part of the KU Athletics ticket scandal in which several department employees sold basketball and football tickets for their personal gain, defrauding KU in the amount of $2 million to $3 million, are on the list of people banned from campus.
However, that case, which became public knowledge in 2010, resulted in seven people being convicted for their roles in the ticket scandal, and five of them served prison time as part of the matter. It wasn’t clear in the documents received from KU whether the school chose to ban only four of the individuals or whether the others previously had served bans that already had expired.
The current records show Kassie Liebsch, Rodney Jones, and Charlette and Thomas Blubaugh were all banned from KU facilities for 10 years, plus any additional time it took them to pay the university millions of dollars in restitution from the scheme.
The Journal-World in February requested documentation on all active campus bans issued by the KU Provost’s Office and received the documents July 3. A Kansas Board of Regents policy allows public university chancellors, or anyone they designate, to ban individuals from their campus if their presence hinders the university’s mission to provide services.
At KU, the provost’s office is most often tasked with banning noncommunity members, as well as any instructors, from campus should those situations arise. The office typically does not ban students from campus, as student bans are almost always issued by the Student Affairs office.
Those authorized to issue bans at KU include the provost and executive vice chancellor at the Lawrence campus, the interim executive vice chancellor at the KU Medical Center, and the vice provost for student affairs at the Lawrence campus when the conduct is in connection with suspending or expelling students, Barcomb-Peterson said.
Those positions were authorized to issue bans, and further delegate the authority to those they supervise, in a memo from Chancellor Douglas Girod on Sept. 1, 2017.
Bans currently active in the records the newspaper did receive were issued in 2011 and yearly from 2013 to 2020. Unless noted, all conduct described was committed by non-KU community members, university investigations found:
• In 2013, Antonio Edwards was banned from the university for 10 years after allegedly committing a sexual battery on Jayhawk Boulevard, the campus’ main street. Douglas County court records show Edwards ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the case.
Dewayne Moss, a child sex offender, was also banned from the KU campus for 10 years after unwanted contact with a KU student. Court records indicate Moss was arrested 6 months after the incident on KU’s campus and pleaded guilty to violating the requirements of his offender registry.
• In 2014, David Boon, a child sex offender, was banned from the KU campus for 10 years after being questioned in Anschutz Library on the Lawrence campus.
• In 2015, three men were banned from the university for five years.
Brandon Burton was found to have trespassed on university property and allegedly had sexual intercourse with a woman who was unable to consent — KU’s letter banning Burton does not specify if he was ever criminally charged with rape, but state court records show he served just under six years in prison for indecent liberties with a minor, before he was released in February 2019.
Daniel Carr was banned from campus for drug distribution and paraphernalia after a KU Public Safety officer reportedly found him smoking marijuana in his car near on-campus housing facilities.
Greg Nichols, a former psychology department researcher, was banned from Fraser Hall for five years for allegedly continuing to use department resources — including making requests of staff members — after his employment ended.
• In 2016, Shane Allen was banned from the university for five years for attacking a KU student he met on Tinder. The student said he held her against her will and beat her repeatedly over a six-day period. He was eventually convicted in Douglas County District Court of felony aggravated battery.
• In 2017, a former KU student (whose name is redacted) withdrew from the university after the KU Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access — which investigates discrimination and sexual harassment reports — began investigating the student. The conduct the student was banned for was also redacted from the document, but the student was banned from the university, in addition to KU Athletics facilities and Rock Chalk Park, for three years.
Matthew Reynard was banned from KU for five years after KU said he stole over $13,000 in materials from a campus animal lab. A jury later found him not guilty, the Journal-World reported in November 2017, but since the letter banning him from KU’s campus was turned over to the newspaper, it indicates he is still actively banned.
David Franklin was banned from Fraser Hall for three years for an alleged pattern of aggressive behavior directed at employees of the KU Psychology Clinic.
• In 2018, a man named Makarand Gogate was banned from campus for three years after allegedly becoming aggressive and returning to a supervisor’s office after being told he didn’t qualify for a post-doctoral position.
David Schumock was banned from KU facilities for two years after he was allegedly found masturbating in his car while speaking to female KU students. Legal proceedings in Schumock’s case are still ongoing in Douglas County.
• 2019 saw six people banned from campus.
Two people were banned from KU Athletics facilities for reasons that were redacted. One person, whose name was redacted, was banned in February for a period of three years. A man named Neal Schnoor was banned in October for a period of five years for an unknown incident that occurred prior to the 2019 men’s basketball media day, during which time he’d seemingly been asked to stay away from the men’s basketball team. After he was spotted at the 2019 media day, the ban was issued. It’s not clear if the two bans related to KU Athletics are connected, but the letters use similar language to describe why they were necessary.
A man named Shawn Bendient, who is identified in the letter as a transient, was banned from KU facilities for two years after allegedly being caught sleeping in various campus locations 13 times.
Seth Dugger was banned from campus for two years after fingerprint evidence allegedly connected him to dozens of vandalism and theft reports at the KU campus over an extended period of time.
Dr. Liuqi Gu was banned from campus until further notice for a reported misuse of university resources, some of which involve alleged criminal acts. The letter didn’t describe those acts, but the Kansas attorney general’s office has said Gu used confidential information he received from KU to avoid paying thousands of dollars in sales taxes.
And Jai Nitz, a former KU lecturer and comic book writer, was banned from the KU campus for three years after what former interim Provost Carl Lejuez described as a “pattern of predatory behavior” toward female students at KU. In an in-depth report in the Kansas City Star, it was revealed Nitz had previously been banned from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, but since it wasn’t a campuswide ban, he was allowed on other parts of the campus. In between when Nitz was first banned and his 2019 ban, he was accused of sexual violence by a KU student he met while guest lecturing in her journalism class — who was the focus of the Star story.
• In 2020, KU has banned two men from the campus indefinitely after reports of alleged sex crimes.
Shawn O’Brien, who had worked as a masseur for various KU sports teams since 2015, was banned for alleged improper conduct with KU Athletics team members. At the last public update, offered in March by Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long, investigators alleged that O’Brien had unwanted contact with at least six athletes and divulged that a trainer knew of the misconduct and didn’t appropriately report it.
And a man named Bruce Springsteen was banned after he was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography. Springsteen worked in both the Lawrence school system and as a dishwasher at the Hilltop Child Development Center at KU.
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