Professor of English Thomas Hahn resigned his position as director of graduate studies of the English department amidst allegations that he interfered in the investigation of Gilbert Kirton. Even as ongoing state and federal investigations proceed, Hahn should be not only welcomed back to his administrative position if he chooses to return as director, but he should be encouraged to return to the position.

Hahn is a well-liked and respected administrator one graduate student said that he would not want to see him replaced and another student said that his correspondence with Hahn was a deciding factor in his choice to attend UR. It would be a mistake for the University to passively watch as this involved director abruptly steps down in reaction to a temptuous scandal.

There is currently no sound public evidence showing that Hahn had any intention of interfering with a police investigation. It is plausible that his only motivation was to help a student in need, and professors should not be punished for showing such concern for their students.

University Communications and the graduate English department decline to comment on whether they will seek disciplinary action against Hahn. If the University did not deem it necessary to revoke Hahn’s professorship at UR, there is no reason this event unrelated to the administrative role he plays at the University should interfere with the functioning of the English department.

While the law must be respected and Hahn will have his day in court, the University should continue to support him in his endeavors. Hahn is innocent unless proven guilty, and that attitude should apply at UR.



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