UNA fires music professor for sexual harassment

Fired UNA music professor Eddie Elsey Jr (Photo courtesy of UNA)

Fired UNA music professor Eddie Elsey Jr (Photo courtesy of UNA)

FLORENCE-(SHOALS INSIDER)-According to UNA administrators, they have fired music professor 38-year-old Eddie Elsey, Jr. for sexual harassment. 
Elsey, who resides at 1020 Linwood Avenue., Florence, was officially terminated on January 26, 2016, for sexual harassment involving a student.

UNA officials say Elsey has been employed as a music instructor since 2002.

University records indicate this was not Elsey’s first accusation of sexual harassment. Elsey was reprimanded in 2007 for having an extra-marital relationship with a student he instructed and advised. Records also indicate, some of the instances occurred on campus.

Elsey apparently appealed his termination.

According to Director of University Communications Bryan Rachal, “Responsibility and the decision for termination were upheld by a hearing committee composed of UNA faculty members,”

“We handled this case as fairly and responsibly as possible,” said Rachel.

Elsey had his tenure revoked in August after the complaint was filed. He had a due process trial on Dec. 14.

Elsey’s firing was upheld by UNA President Kitts on January 26, 2016.

 

 

 Eddie Elsey’s Statement.

 

 

On March 2, 2014, I sent a Facebook message to a UNA student that I should not have sent. That was clearly wrong. Seventeen months later, on August 10, 2015, the young lady reported this message to Dr. David McCullough, Music Department Chair. In the interim, I had no inappropriate contact with the young lady. I have sincerely apologized to the young lady for sending the inappropriate Facebook message and for any other offense I may have caused her. On April 20, 2014, the young lady forgave me. For that, I am grateful. I now ask forgiveness from the UNA community. In doing so, I also feel the UNA community should know that at no time, did I ever solicit the student for sex, ask the student for a date or to meet; I did not send sexually explicit pictures, make sexually oriented jokes of any kind, use vulgar language, use a nickname in reference to a sexual connotation, or describe parts of the student’s body. I never touched the student nor did I spread rumors of any kind about her. Finally, I was not accused of, nor have I ever attempted to use my position as a professor to threaten this, or any other student in any way, directly or indirectly. Over the last six months, I have been successful working on some personal issues. I have done so in order to make better decisions in all aspects of my life. It is still my prayer that I may return to my teaching duties at to UNA. It is unfortunate that this is public news now because I am still in the appeals process for my position. Again, to my wife and children, the student, UNA (especially the Music Department and my low brass studio students), and the Florence community as a whole, I ask for your forgiveness and prayers.

 

Thank you, Eddie Elsey, Jr., DMA

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