Incidents at Florida State University

Total: 7


Incident 8805

Status: Resolved
Role: Faculty
Position: Professor
Discipline: Arts and Humanities
Specific Discipline: Music
Outcome Year: 2021
Outcome Category: Suspended / Leave / Restrictions
Specific Outcome: "The third investigation involved John “Read” Gainsford, a music professor still working in the College of Music. The university concluded after its investigation completed in July that Gainsford had improper sexual relationships with at least three students, even though he did not instruct or supervise them, because he holds “considerable institutional authority and influence within the college and subsequently over all College of Music students.”"

"Concern Regarding Consensual Relationship
The EDI Office found that, regardless of the fact that none of the confidential students Gainsford had sexual interactions with were supervised or evaluated by him, the nature of Gainsford’s role as a professor and Area Coordinator in the College of Music asserts a degree of institutional authority over students. Thus, a “romantic and/or sexual relationship with a student over which institutional authority is held is counter to that which is required of Prof. Gainsford in his role.” Further acknowledging that “real or perceived power over a person makes consent to sexual activity ambigious,” the investigation found that Gainsford’s relationship with the confidential reporter was a conflict of interest, and that respective claims by the reporter were substantiated.

Following the conclusion of Professor Gainsford’s investigation by the EDI Office, former Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Sally E. McRorie contacted Gainsford to inform him of his 10-day suspension without pay on Sep. 17, 2021. In the email, she explained that his behavior was “unbecoming of a public employee and adversely affected the University’s ability to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students.”

In accordance with Article 20 of the FSU Board of Trustees/United Faculty of Florida Collective Bargaining Agreement, Gainsford voluntarily waived his right to appeal the decision of the investigation."
Last updated: May 2, 2022 12:43 pm

Incident 8702

Status: Resolved
Role: Faculty
Position: Professor
Discipline: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Specific Discipline: Public Administration and Policy
Outcome Year: 2020
Outcome Category: Resigned
Specific Outcome: "A longtime distinguished professor at Florida State University’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy was allowed to quietly resign last year amid a sexual misconduct investigation sparked by the disclosure of a series of sexually explicit emails, photos and text messages exchanged between the professor and a foreign student."
Last updated: Mar 17, 2021 8:48 am

Incident 8801

Status: Resolved
Person: Ross May
Role: Administrator
Position: Associate Director of Family Institute
Discipline: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Specific Discipline: Family Studies
Outcome Year: 2020
Outcome Category: No Longer Employed (includes Fired and Contract Non-renewal)
Specific Outcome: "The university fired Ross May, 38, its associate director of FSU’s Family Institute, which studies how parents can develop healthy environments for their children, over allegations that May pressured a student to get drunk, hugged her “in a forceful way” in a photograph and bet another student $50 he could have sex with her by the end of the semester. The incidents allegedly occurred during 2019, and the investigation was completed in May 2020."
Last updated: Nov 19, 2021 8:39 am

Incident 8803

Status: Resolved
Person: David Gilbert
Role: Faculty
Position: Professor
Discipline: Life Sciences
Specific Discipline: Molecular Biology
Outcome Year: 2020
Outcome Category: Resigned, Suspended / Leave / Restrictions
Specific Outcome: "...David Gilbert, 62, said he was suspended without pay for two weeks and later resigned after a graduate student accused him of sending her a sexually explicit email in January 2020. "
Last updated: Nov 21, 2021 1:16 pm

Incident 8621

Status: Resolved
Role: Faculty
Position: Department Chair
Discipline: Medicine and Health Sciences
Specific Discipline:
Outcome Year: 2019
Outcome Category: Official Warning / Reprimand
Specific Outcome: "FSU conducted a full investigation into the allegations and took disciplinary action against the employee as a result," FSU spokesman Dennis Schnittker wrote in a statement. "The employee was found responsible for a violation of university policy after a thorough and unbiased investigation by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance." "In an October 2019 written reprimand, College of Medicine Dean John Fogarty wrote the matter "should not be taken lightly," directed him to a sexual misconduct training session and said a recurrence would result in further disciplinary action."
Last updated: Nov 22, 2020 12:24 pm

Incident 7340

Status: Resolved
Person: Peter Ray
Role: Faculty
Position: Department Chair, Professor
Discipline: Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Meteorology
Specific Discipline: Meteorology
Outcome Year: 2002
Outcome Category: Suspended / Leave / Restrictions
Specific Outcome: Suspended for 21 days for “conduct unbecoming a university employee” in inappropriate relationship with student. Lawsuit filed in federal court – outcome unclear.
Last updated: Jun 2, 2019 7:07 am

Incident 7339

Status: Resolved
Role: Faculty
Position: Professor
Discipline: Law
Specific Discipline:
Outcome Year: 2000
Outcome Category: Official Warning / Reprimand
Specific Outcome: Written reprimand.
Last updated: Jun 1, 2019 7:54 pm