ETSU is trying to terminate a tenured music professor following allegations that he sexually harassed two faculty members in his department, according to documents retrieved from the university through an open records request.
David Champouillon, the director of jazz studies at ETSU, has been suspended with pay from the university.
The documents detail numerous allegations that students and faculty have brought against Champouillon. In a written statement, Champouillon said that he denies the allegations. He also has not been charged with any crimes, according to a report by WJHL on Feb. 7.
According to a letter the university sent to Champouillon in November, at least twenty people — six faculty members and 14 students — provided testimony to the university that he had violated the university’s standards of professional conduct.
Among these allegations includes a 12-page formal complaint submitted by a female faculty member in the department of music. The complaint alleges instances of sexual harassment she experienced from Champouillon since 2012.
The complainant states that Champouillon made comments about her body, other women’s bodies in the department and female students’ bodies. She also said Champouillon continuously discussed with her his intimate affairs with other women.
“He said he would spare me the details, but that basically he had an operation to treat a hemorrhoid and the nurse assisting him was really attractive and it made it more awkward because he was turned on by the attractive blonde nurse,” she wrote on an incident that allegedly occurred in 2013 in her office. “He implied that the nurse gave him an erection. I was repulsed by his story.”
As a result of Champouillon’s alleged behavior, the complainant states that she has been diagnosed with panic attacks, chronic insomnia, anxiety, dissociation, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
This faculty member said that she did not come forward with a formal complaint sooner because she feared that she would be denied tenure and a promotion.
Some of the student testimonies include allegations that Champouillon has made inappropriate comments toward students including asking one student about his girlfriend’s vagina.
ETSU President Brian Noland received a memorandum on Oct. 15 that detailed all the allegations against Champouillon. In a letter to Noland, Champouillon said that the allegations in the memorandum does not cite substantial corroborating evidence.
“The majority of assertions contained in both complaints and in the investigators [sic] reports consist of hearsay, layered hearsay, lack specificity as to dates and are outside of the reporting time limit set by policy,” Champouillon said in the letter.
“I have never been charged nor convicted of any crime,” Champouillon said in a supplemental response to the office of equity and diversity on Oct. 13. “I have never been accused of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, or bias during my academic career as student or faculty. … These false allegations have done irreparable harm to my reputation and adversely affected the education of ETSU trumpet and jazz ensemble students.”
ETSU spokesman Joe Smith said it’s the university’s policy not to comment on personnel matters.
“In general, we take the matter of sexual harassment very seriously,” Smith said in an email on Wednesday, “as this behavior goes against the mission and values of the institution. Any complaint of sexual harassment will be investigated.”
Executive editor David Floyd, news editor Jordan Hensley and opinion editor Lindsey King collaborated on this article.