For the sixth time in five years, the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications may be looking for a new director after current director Samuel Bradley was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday because a report surfaced detailing Bradley's inappropriate relationships with several students of his during his time at Texas Tech University.
This move came about after The Tampa Tribune submitted questions to the university concerning Bradley’s relationships with students while employed at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
He worked there from 2006 until January 2013, when an investigation concluded he’d engaged in romantic and sexual relationships with at least three of his students and another student who wasn’t in his courses over seven years. Bradley was hired at USF as an interim director and visiting professor in fall 2013.
There’s no evidence in Bradley’s personnel file to suggest the university knew anything about these relationships prior to hiring him.
“As is USF’s standard practice, a criminal background check was completed prior to Bradley’s hire in Aug. 2013 as a Visiting Associate Professor and Interim Director of the Zimmerman Advertising Program,” Adam Freeman, USF media and public affairs manager, said in an email to the Oracle.
Bradley was placed on paid administrative leave, and Associate Professor Art Ramirez will serve as interim director. Eric Eisenberg, USF College of Arts & Sciences Dean, issued an official statement without specifically naming Bradley.
"We are very proud of the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications and remain deeply committed to its students, vision and goals,” Eisenberg said in his official statement. “We firmly believe in the school’s future and moving forward we remain undeterred in our mission to make it one of the finest in the country.
“On March 22, 2016, we learned of information regarding a current employee of the school. This information was not disclosed during the hiring process, either by the employee or the employee’s former employer.”
The university has not released details concerning what’s next on the matter. Bradley's prior conduct at Texas Tech and his future role at USF are being reviewed by the administration.
“Any additional matters related to this employee are being reviewed and an appropriate response will be determined,” Freeman said. “In the meantime, we have no additional details to share.”