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Friday, April 16, 2010

Ohio University Professor Goes With the Old "She Just Liked Fruit-Related Nicknames" Defense

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Pretty sure this isnt the Mr. Banana the guy was talking about.
  • Pretty sure this isn't the Mr. Banana the guy was talking about.

C. Aaron Kelley, a professor at Ohio University, has finally quit after the school found him trying to play "hide the banana" a few too many times with students and subordinates.

OU alleges that Kelley had a string of inappropriate relationships over a 13-year period. He used to be the dean of the business school, but was removed from that post because... you guessed it, he had an affair with his secretary. Already stripped of that title, Kelley was given an ultimatum by the school: resign, or we'll screw with your tenure and fire you anyway.

Kelley chose wisely.

According to the Columbus Dispatch:

OU received Kelley's resignation letter last week.

President Roderick J. McDavis began the process to dismiss Kelley last September - fueled by what he called Kelley's inappropriate behavior and poor judgments stretching back to 1996.

"Over period of 13 years, you have disregarded repeated warnings and have engaged in a patter of behavior that is harmful to the university and the young women with whom you had a relationship," McDavis told Kelley in a letter.

"By repeatedly abusing your position of authority over students you have created a significant risk of legal liability for sexual-harassment claims against you and the university."

Kelley and his attorney did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

All of this is important and newsworthy but not terribly shocking. Professors have been diddling their students as long as college learnin' has been around. Sure, there's ethics and morality and legality tied up in every one of those instances, but Kelley's stands out for one reason: his explanation of text messages he had sent to a female student at OU's masters program in India that ended with, "Love, Mr. Banana."

No, no, no. Don't read anything into that, people. There's really a good explanation for that, and it's totally G-Rated, not dirty at all! The Dispatch reports he told the Faculty Senate that, "the student simply liked fruit-related nicknames."

See, nothing untoward about the Mr. Banana moniker. It's as innocent as any other fruit-related nickname he could have come up with. Except Mr. Kumquat, that one is definitely dirty.

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