Convicted felon reinstated at LHU

Chase Bottorf

Staff Writer

ctb492@lockhaven.edu

Back in 2004, professor Charles Morgan got hired at Lock Haven University. Getting hired in the mathematics department, Morgan worked with LHU as math professor from 2004 to 2016. Morgan was promoted to a full professor in 2009 due to his well-liked status and his highly-regarded teaching performance. Despite Morgan being a well-respected addition to LHU, a criminal past would be uncovered.

In 1989, Morgan was charged with two counts of sodomy and a count of sexual assault. He was 19 at the time. Morgan was reported to have performed oral sex on an 8-year-old boy and performed an unspecified sex act on another minor. Morgan was convicted in 1990. Despite the type of molestation charges, he would only serve up to 5 years. His sentence was reduced after volunteering in a sex offender therapy program.

When applying for his position at LHU, Morgan left out that he had been a convicted felon on his application. At the time of Morgan’s hiring, LHU didn’t have its current background check requirement. It wouldn’t be until 2016 that LHU would start conducting background checks due to the number of minors from high school who enroll in campus courses. Morgan, like the rest of the faculty, had to go through a background check, where in the end, his criminal history came to light. He was placed on paid suspension by then President Michael Fiorentino. Morgan pleaded that he hadn’t done any crimes since his conviction in 1990. A binding arbitration was started by the faculty union to secure his reinstatement into LHU. Since Morgan’s criminal acts haven’t followed him into middle-age, he can freely be reinstated by law.

Morgan resumed his position as a math professor at Lock Haven University in the fall due to court order. Somebody who has been convicted of child molestation should not be able to retake their job that they were fired from to begin with. First of all, while Morgan didn’t lie, he wasn’t forthcoming about his past on his application. The luck of him getting past a system that lacked a thorough background check is the only reason he got in and began teaching.

According to pennlive.com, Lock Haven appealed the

court’s order to re-instate Morgan, to no avail. However, the

University has suspended Morgan’s contact with minors. Morgan isn’t allowed to teach high school students, typically enrolled in advanced placement college courses. If a case where somebody is barred from teaching secondary students, they shouldn’t be allowed to take positions that are higher on the totem pole. It is unfair for any professor trying to get a job, or the ones already working there, with no discernible felony convictions. It is offensive to those professors working.

With the history of Morgan’s conviction being revealed, a good portion of students would most likely stay away from taking any classes that he would teach. Things could even get worse with students causing harmful altercations with him, if it were to get that severe.

Last fall, LHU encouraged faculty to send parents and students with questions regarding Morgan to campus administrators. The news of this reinstatement should have also been sent to students. With more and more people being aware of this unprecedented event, the reinstatement could be turned away. It would also make a bad image for the school to rehire somebody with child molestation convictions, despite his good history with LHU. It is up to the faculty of LHU and its students to either fight against the reinstatement of Morgan or let him freely work with a full wage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s