In the week after Director of the Zimmerman School of Mass Communications Samuel Bradley was placed on administrative leave following reports of unprofessional behavior at his former employer, USF has been making headlines.
Reports of Bradley’s behavior at Texas Tech University, including romantic and sexual relationships with three of his students and at least one other student who was not enrolled in Bradley’s courses, have been searched through and reported on by various news networks, and USF is in the process of running its own investigation.
The university’s investigation was initially focused on how Bradley was hired to USF, as the terms of his dismissal from Texas Tech were never brought up by Bradley or his former employer, according to Eric Eisenberg, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The aim is not to re-investigate what Bradley did at Texas Tech. However, as the investigation goes on, the direction could change.
Eisenberg says interviews with involved parties have already started. The investigation is an independent review spearheaded by the law firm of Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez and Hearing, according to USF spokesman Adam Freeman.
“My expectation is that (the investigation) will be done within weeks, not months,” Eisenberg said. “I know they’re working to get it done as quickly as possible because we know it (has) been disturbing the people. We want to… move ahead as fast as we can.”
Bradley is still on paid administrative leave, as put on by Eisenberg, until the firm’s report is complete. He also has tenure, which was awarded back in 2014.
Whether Bradley’s tenure would be revoked Eisenberg is not sure. It would be a complicated and dense process to go through. He emphasized there is a difference between losing tenure, losing employment and losing the directorship.
According to an article from the Tampa Bay Times, Bradley is in the process of moving away from his New Tampa home.
Eisenberg is not willing to speculate as to what the possible outcome may be but ensures he and his colleagues will do everything in their power to ensure that students and the reputation of the School of Mass Communications are not negatively impacted.
“My office and the acting director are 100 percent committed to not having this affect either their class experience or their employment opportunities or the reputation of the school,” Eisenberg said.
“…We’re treating this as (an) isolated personnel matter and as such we’re going to investigate it and we’re going to do the right thing for the students.”
Currently, the acting director of the Zimmerman School of Mass Communications is Art Ramirez, who will serve in the position until the investigation is complete, according to Eisenberg. Ramirez is working alongside associate director Wayne Garcia.
“As a matter of fact, I’ve asked him to do everything he can to make sure that students’ questions get answered, people get classes, employers get answers if they have questions…” Eisenberg said.
“Art Ramirez has stepped in very strongly and Wayne Garcia … has continued to be very much on the job as well. So they’re trying to create as much normalcy and continuity as they can.”
Garcia preferred not to comment. Ramirez was unable to give comment at the time of print.
Eisenberg is looking forward to everything wrapping up soon.
“I’m anxious for … the investigation to be done so that we can move forward and put this behind us in an appropriate way,” he said.