UT Professor resigns after accusations of sexual misconduct

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A University of Tennessee professor has resigned amid accusations he had a sexual relationship with a student.

The university placed Dr. Henri Grissino-Mayer on paid administrative leave, as indicated in a letter dated August 8 of this year.

In the letter, obtained by WVLT, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid noted that the university was opening an investigation into allegations that Dr. Grissino-Mayer was having a sexual relationship with a student.

After receiving a second letter further detailing his restrictions under this paid leave, Dr. Grissino-Mayer submitted his resignation on August 31.

The university accepted his resignation on September 7, and explained to Grissino-Mayer he would remain on paid leave through October 1.

In a letter from Manderscheid's office to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee, officials said they received a series of reports describing "a pattern of abusing his position and power as a tenured full professor with an active research program, a well funded laboratory, and a steady pipeline of overachieving graduate students."

According to the letter, the first report was given to the university department head on August 7, prompting the letter sent to Dr. Grissino-Mayer the following day.

The letter went on to describe Dr. Grissino-Mayer's behavior as "a pattern of manipulation and mistreatment of students possible misuse of university resources, and certainly risks of further harm to current students, former students, colleagues and collaborators, and reputational harm to all of us."

Dr. Grissino-Mayer's classes for Fall 2018 were reassigned.