Indiana Law Prof Ian Samuel Resigns After Misconduct Probe

(BLOOMINGTON) – Ian Samuel, an Indiana University Maurer School of Law associate professor whose career was halted by a Title IX misconduct investigation last December, announced Friday he has resigned from his position.


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Tony Mauro, of Law.com, reports, Samuel, a former law clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was the co-host of First Mondays, a now-defunct popular podcast about the high court. He also led a successful effort to dissuade law firms from forcing arbitration clauses on summer associates. Before teaching at Indiana, he was an associate at Jones Day and a lecturer at Harvard Law School.
“I’m choosing to forgo procedural rights that might (though I doubt it) preserve my job if I fought to the Pyrrhic end, because the academic year is over and it’s time for this process to be over, too,” Samuel said in a letter to the university’s provost that Samuel posted on Twitter.
Neither the university nor Samuel offered details of the allegations last December, but Title IX investigations typically result from allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct. He was placed on leave while the investigation was underway.
In his letter to university provost and executive vice president Lauren Robel, Samuel said the investigation was over. He wrote, “I don’t think I’m breaching any confidences by saying that the allegations, in this case, describe me drinking to excess in a public place I shouldn’t have been, in the company I shouldn’t have kept, and treating the people present in ways they didn’t deserve.”
Robel on Friday did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Samuel or the investigation.
Samuel said in his intensely personal letter that some of his valued friends told him that the investigation should lead him to “take a hard look at my life.”
He added, “They were right. Once I was ready to be honest with myself, I had to admit that the night in question was the clearest sign yet of a problem that had been growing for some time … The truth is that the university’s investigation, in addition to doing justice, probably had the side effect of saving my life … I was becoming an ugly man, and I needed nothing so much as a clean mirror and someone brave enough to make me look at it.”
Samuel did not spell out his next steps in life but concluded, “What I do know is that halfway through the journey of my life, I lost–through my own grievous fault–the straightforward path, my sense of right and wrong. It behooves me now to take another road.”
Dozens of replies followed Samuel’s tweet, including one that said, “Regardless of what you did, it takes a man with guts to post what you posted.” But not all comments were positive. One commenter wrote, “This is a complete non-apology. This letter is all about him. Nowhere does he apologize to his victims.”
Below is a copy of Samuel’s letter to Provost Robel:
May 10, 2019
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President
Indiana University Bloomington
107 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
Dear Provost Robel,
Last fall, the university opened a Title IX investigation in which I was the responding party.
Since then, I’ve kept quiet in public, and I’ve done everything I can to cooperate with the university’s process. But the investigation is done now, and for the reasons, I’ll explain in this letter, I
hereby resign my appointment as an associate professor, effective at the close of business today. I’m choosing to forgo procedural rights that might (though I doubt it) preserve my job if I fought to the Pyrrhic end because the academic year is over and it’s time for this process to be over, too. Why? Well, I don’t think I’m breaching any confidences by saying that the allegations, in this case, describe me drinking to excess in a public place I shouldn’t have been, in the company I shouldn’t have kept, and treating the people present in ways they didn’t deserve. Those behaviors are totally
inconsistent with what any university expects of its faculty, of course, but it’s more than that. When the investigation began, a few people I trust suggested that maybe it was time to take a hard look at my life. They were right. Once I was ready, to be honest with myself, I had to admit that the night in question was the clearest sign yet of a problem that had been growing for some time, and which was going to keep growing as long as I kept ignoring it. Although that admission didn’t solve anything by itself, it did beat denial.
The truth is that the university’s investigation, in addition to doing justice, probably had the side effect of saving my life. More importantly, it’s given me a chance to live the life I’ve got differently. I was becoming an ugly man, and I needed nothing so much as a clean mirror and someone brave enough to make me look at it. Well, someone did, and they did it before my son got old enough to start feeling ashamed of his father. Not everyone is so lucky. So I’d be a real ingrate if I felt anything other than admiration and gratitude for the complainants’ integrity in this case.
And that’s all fine, but words are cheap, as lawyers know, and being sorry isn’t enough. I hurt people, and it’s pretty damned hard to imagine those people feeling the slightest bit better just because I wish it hadn’t happened. No. Accepting responsibility means actually doing something, if you can, to spare the people you hurt from any more harm. My sense is that the people most affected by all of this would prefer it if I didn’t remain at the university, and I understand why. If I were in their shoes, I think I’d want to live my life in Bloomington without worrying about crossing paths with a person I’d rather forget, no matter what sweet song of reform he’s singing now. In fact, that makes so much sense to me that I can’t see any honest basis for prolonging this process any further.
In addition to confession and contrition, in other words, sin requires punishment. Part of mine is that I’ll no longer be on the faculty at Indiana University, and I cannot call that result unjust. Let me use my last words as a professor here to say that it’s been a privilege to serve on this faculty and to teach my students. What comes next, I don’t know. What I do know is that halfway through the journey of my life, I lost–through my own grievous fault–the straightforward path, my sense of right and wrong. It behooves me now to take another road.
Sincerely,
Ian Samuel

Information, Law.com, https://www.law.com

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