An investigation is underway after a disagreement between a faculty member and a departmental secretary Thursday, Feb. 19, according to Earl Ingram, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs.
According to a university police report, an incident of harassment was reported in Smith Hall Room 274-A about 2:15 p.m.
The report describes the victim as a 36-year-old white woman.
Ingram was informed of the incident. According to Ingram, the faculty member and the departmental secretary had a “verbal disagreement.” The faculty member “refused to disengage” from the argument.
Ingram said that the secretary called the university police for assistance.
According to Ingram, after the police were called, the faculty member “disengaged” from the argument and left.
A department chair became aware of the situation afterwards, according to Ingram.
“I believe he was in class at the time,” Ingram said. “As his class was letting out, the teacher was walking down the hall, if I’m not mistaken.”
According to Ingram, department chairs are the first to mediate disputes among faculty and staff in their departments.
“The chair ensures that everything goes back to equilibrium,” Ingram said.
Ingram said he was not aware of whether the departmental secretary was also part of mediation efforts.
Ingram said the university’s Human Resources Department is conducting the investigation.
Smith Hall Room 274-A is the location of English departmental secretary Melissa Scarbrough’s office.
Scarbrough declined to comment.
Stephen Cooper, chair of the English department, which is housed in Smith Hall, also declined to comment.
Several people said Noel Kaylor, a professor of English, knew about the incident, so the Tropolitan contacted him.
“As action against the other party in the ‘incident’ is pending, I have no comment,” Kaylor said in an email to the Trop sent the morning of Saturday, Feb. 21.
Kaylor sent another email two hours later.
“Any possible action against the other party of the ‘incident’ has been withdrawn,” Kaylor wrote. “Again, I have no comment. If others wish to comment, they may do so.”
Troy University Police Chief John McCall could not be reached for comment.