Teaching Assignments for Convicted DSU Professor Figg Disappear

Last night I reported that Dakota State University information assurance professor William Carl Figg had been convicted last May of one count of nonconsensual contact with a foreign exchange student in his home.

As of tonight, William Carl Figg is no longer scheduled to teach classes at DSU this fall.

Last night I obtained a list of classes Figg was scheduled to teach from DSU’s WebAdvisor portal:

Fall 2015 course assignments for Professor William Carl Figg, Dakota State University, as of 2015.08.20.
Fall 2015 course assignments for Professor William Carl Figg, Dakota State University, as of 2015.08.20.

When I search tonight for DSU Fall 2015 courses taught by Figg, WebAdvisor says, “No classes meeting the search criteria have been found.” When I search the five class sections listed last night for Figg, WebAdvisor produces these results:

DSU Fall 2015 courses assigned to William C. Figg as of 2015.08.20, reassigned or TBA'd as of 2015.08.21.
DSU Fall 2015 courses assigned to William C. Figg as of 2015.08.20, reassigned or TBA’d as of 2015.08.21.

WebAdvisor now lists Mike Waldner as instructor for the on-campus section of INFS 601, Section D01. The other four sections list “To Be Announced TBA” under Faculty.

Update 2015.08.22 11:23 CDT: Sources tell me DSU VP Academic Judy Dittman sent this e-mail to faculty in the College of Business and Information Systems, as well as other VPs and department chairs, on Thursday, August 20, at 10:05 p.m., announcing Figg’s retirement:

Colleagues,

Today I received a letter from Dr. Figg stating he has decided to retire on August 21, 2015. In his letter he said how grateful he was for the opportunity to serve as a tenured Full Professor at DSU for the last 15 years. When you have a chance, please thank him for his years at DSU and wish him well in his retirement. Thank you.

Judy

Hmmm… this sounds a lot like President David Borofsky’s immediate “retirement” last year. The emphasis on his status as “tenured Full Professor at DSU for the last 15 years” seems just a touch exaggerated: Figg started at DSU in 2001, so it seems unlikely he would have held tenure at DSU for 15 years. The last time Figg updated his faculty homepage or online CV, he listed himself as “Associate Professor.”


12 Responses to Teaching Assignments for Convicted DSU Professor Figg Disappear

  1. Deb Geelsdottir

    That’s the correct decision for DSU. Good for them.

  2. Is this just a very odd coincedince or did shedding light on this issue make the change? If no one brought this to the public’s knowledge would DSU still have this professor teaching? I am glad that DSU has done the right thing, but very disappointed that it seems to have taken this blog to get them to do so.

  3. Probably on his way to Mississippi, the last redoubt.

  4. Craig, I’m leaning toward coincidence: my cursory reading of the discipline policy indicated that formal procedures would take a few weeks to provide proper due process. However, it is possible that Figg was given a choice to resign or be dragged through that process and chose the easier alternative.

  5. Figg’s resignation Thursday (announced by VP Dittman in a Thursday evening internal e-mail, see update above) could be costly for Figg: according to the current SDBOR faculty bargaining agreement, “When a resignation is received less than thirty days prior to the date when unit members are scheduled to report to the institution at the beginning of the annual appointment, liquidated damages will be assessed in the amount of $2,400” [Section 9.7, p. 30].

  6. Deb Geelsdottir

    Cory, is that VP Judy Dittman? I used to play softball and basketball against her. She was a good competitor and a good person.

  7. Judy Dittman—yup! Mitakuye oyasin!

  8. Deb Geelsdottir

    Thanks Cory.

  9. Mathew Lehmann

    I was a student of his back in 2002.

  10. Mathew, what impact does knowledge of the action that led to Figg’s conviction have on your assessment of his fitness for a professorship at a public university?

  11. When was he supposedly convicted, or did you get mixed up in semantics? I’m only seeing a charge, not conviction?

  12. John, click back to my original August 20 story and you’ll find the transcript of the sentencing hearing, which makes clear that Figg pled no contest and that Figg thus stands convicted, not just charged, of the crime discussed.