Home / Fall 2011 / VSU professor not guilty, not rehired

VSU professor not guilty, not rehired

Despite his recent acquittal of battery charges, Dr. Frank Rybicki will not be allowed to continue his teaching career at VSU after spring semester 2012.

Dr. Rybicki received a letter back in July from VSU administration, saying that he would not be getting a new contract for the 2012-13 academic year, according to Inside Higher Ed, a news source for higher education.

When The Spectator sought comments from the Department of Academic Affairs, they were told that Dr. Rybicki is currently engaged in his assigned faculty duties which include teaching, and that VSU considers matters of personal issues confidential, according to Thressea Boyd, Assistant to the President for Communications.

Dr. Rybicki, a tenure-track professor of mass media, was found not guilty of battery in a Georgia State court on Aug. 15 after he was accused of injuring Krista Bowman, the former senior mass media major, by closing her laptop on top of her hands during a media law class on March 25.

On March 30, Dr. Rybicki was arrested and released on a $2,500 bond and then placed on paid suspension by VSU.

Other instructors took over Dr. Rybicki’s classes to conclude the spring semester, and Dr. Rybicki remained on suspension until acquitted.

Upon being found not guilty by a jury of his peers, Dr. Rybicki returned to VSU to resume his role in teaching a senior seminar class and serving as a top advisor for mass media undergraduates.

Many VSU students and faculty were upset when they discovered VSU’s actions against Dr. Rybicki through the story featured in Inside Higher Ed last Thursday.

“The administration is acting very unprofessionally and unethical,” Heath Croft, mass media graduate student, said. “Their decisions are going to come back to haunt them.”

Croft’s co-creator of the “Team Rybicki” Facebook group agrees with him.

“It is a matter of VSU not backing up its faculty,” Kevin Cheatham, mass media graduate student, said. “It is not policy, it is stupidity.”

Undergraduates voiced their distaste about VSU’s decision as well.

“I think VSU is choosing to get rid of a problem the easy way instead of facing it head on,” Amelia Tacy, junior mass media major, said. “We are going to be losing a really great professor.”

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