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Ohio State Fires Professor For Sexual Misconduct

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University
/
Ohio State University
Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus

Ohio State University trustees have fired a social work professor for sexual misconduct.

Rene Olate is a former Ohio State University College of Social Work associate professor.
Ohio State
/
Ohio State
Rene Olate is a former Ohio State University College of Social Work associate professor.

Two reports filed last year cited unwanted gender-based verbal and physical conduct by René Olate that created a hostile educational environment.

An investigation by the university’s Office of Institutional Equity found Olate “commented on students' physical appearances, described graphic details of sexual assault in a class lecture, commented on a student's sexuality, touched the shoulders and backs of female students, hugged and kissed one female student and requested to have an intimate relationship with a student, who declined his advances."

Olate came to Ohio State in 2011 and focused much of his work on youth violence, masculinities and Latino gangs

In a letter to trustees, Olate refuted the claims that led to his firing.

"Throughout this investigation, I have told my supervisors and others at OSU that I was willing to leave OSU. I did not wish to stay where my reputation was so severely injured by false allegations," he wrote.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.