Kavajecz Arrested on Prostitution Charges

Friday, Sep 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm by Madelyn Urabe

After being arrested for patronizing a prostitute in the town of Salina, Syracuse University removed Kenneth Kavajecz as the dean of the Whitman School of Management.

An announcement was made Wednesday by the Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly stating that Kenneth Kavajecz, 51, would no longer serve as dean and was immediately placed on administrative leave from his faculty position until further notice. Wheatly also announced that Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie would stand as the active dean until an interim dean was selected. According to Onondaga County sheriff’s office, Kavajecz was arrested Tuesday and was ticketed for a third degree misdemeanor for patronizing a prostitute in the town of Salina.

Kenneth Kavajecz is due September 29th to Salina Town Court.

Kevin Quinn, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, released this statement Friday afternoon addressing why Syracuse University has not given details about the incident thus far:

“Given University policy, we are not able to discuss specifics of personnel matters. We have, however, confirmed with law enforcement that the alleged behavior did not occur on the Syracuse University campus, did not involve members of the campus community, and is unrelated to the former dean’s University responsibilities.”

CitrusTV has repeatedly called the Onondaga County sheriff’s office, Syracuse University’s Public Affairs, and the Whitman School of Management but they have declined further comments.

Friday morning, Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly and Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie held a meeting at Llene and David Flaum Grand Hall to talk about the future leadership at Whitman. At that time, Syracuse University had not explained the decampment yet. One faculty member expressed that he felt that the department and the university had placed a “wall of silence” in regards to explaining what happened with Kavajecz and his unexpected removal- an emotion many students and faculty still share as Kavajecz’s leave left the Whitman community shocked.

Details about Kavajecz’s removal as dean and immediate placement on administrative leave were ignored during this meeting, as Wheatly was adamant that they would not answer questions about Kenneth Kavajecz, saying they could not provide commentary on any personal action.

Wheatly and Haynie had a different approach to discussing the unexpected dismissal of Kavajecz, addressing almost immediately that the week had been difficult for the campus community and for Whitman as a whole; and stating that the purpose of the meeting was to draw attention to the process of selecting a new dean. Wheatly, who spoke to the audience first, said that this meeting was to be “therapeutic” and a way that everyone could come together and discuss this topic. Wheatly re-announced that Michael Haynie, who spoke briefly during the meeting, would serve as the acting dean for the immediate future and they would work together to find an interim dean. Wheatly will be responsible for the overall decision of who will replace Kenneth Kavajecz but she will also “rely on the expert inputs that are expected at Whitman.”

Those who have comments or questions about the qualities and skills they would want the new dean to have, can email provost@syr.edu.

Haynie, who started out at Whitman as an entrepreneurship professor ten years ago this month, stated, “as long as I’m in this position… my commitment to you is all about trust and transparency.” It is unclear when the decision of the new dean will be announced, as Wheatly mentioned that it could take a couple of weeks or a couple of months and that the department “would rather do it right than do it fast.” Like Haynie, Wheatly drew attention to her dedication on keeping the process of finding a new dean transparent and communicating the process to everyone at Whitman.

During her speech, Wheatly stated, “This is a time when we really have to keep calm and carry on. We really have to hang together…This is a time for family… and (the goal) in the challenging days ahead is to leverage that family unit of the Whitman School.”