JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Newly uncovered East Tennessee State University records show the university considered firing tenured music professor Dr. David Champouillon in 2010, long before two faculty members filed sexual harassment complaints against him, but the two sides settled.
Dr. Champouillon remains suspended with pay, prohibited from stepping foot on campus without permission, pending the results of a termination hearing scheduled to begin Monday. The hearing follows an internal investigation that found Dr. Champouillon sexually harassed two faculty members and behaved inappropriately in front of faculty and students.
University records reveal this isn’t the first time ETSU has told him to stay away. According to a March 2010 “letter of reprimand of the highest order,” ETSU presented Dr. Champouillon with a notice of charges of behaviors warranting termination. The letter detailed allegations involving profanity, his treatment of students and comments about a community member.
Instead of termination, Dr. Champouillon signed the letter from Dean Gordon Anderson, understanding that the “repeat of any conduct similar to the incidents set forth above will result in immediate action pursuant to the faculty handbook to termination your appointment as a tenured faculty member.”
As part of the agreement, Dr. Champouillon acknowledged the behaviors cited and stated his intention “to avoid any such behaviors in the future and to seek professional assistance in dealing with these unwarranted and extremely disturbing outbursts,” the letter said.
In addition, the university prohibited him from teaching any summer courses or stepping foot in the music building until the start of the fall semester.
“The reason for this is to give you time to reflect on the seriousness of the behaviors exhibited and, if necessary, to seek professional help in dealing with them,” the letter said.
Almost two years later, an ETSU employee filed a police report against Dr. Champouillon alleging he bullied her. She ultimately decided against pressing charges and he denied the claim, according to police records.
Just a week after the police report, ETSU records show the university counseled Dr. Champouillon for intimidating behavior, then counseled him in April 2015 again for his behavior and counseled him in April 2016 again for his behavior. Two faculty members filed formal complaints of sexual harassment in September 2016.
Dr. Champouillon is fighting to keep his job. He and his attorney argue disgruntled faculty and former students are lying.
“He’s not harassed anyone,” attorney Jim Culp previously said. “We don’t think he’s done anything that would justify his being terminated.”
While an ETSU spokesperson says it’s the university’s policy not to comment on personnel matters, university records show ETSU interviewed more than 65 people as part of its recent investigation.
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