A former Fox School of Business adjunct instructor was placed on administrative leave at Rutgers University on Thursday after his 2009 criminal sexual misconduct charge resurfaced, the Daily Targum, Rutgers University’s student newspaper, reported.
Sombudha Adhikari taught at Temple from Spring 2013 to 2017, a university spokesperson told The Temple News. In 2009, Adhikari, 49 at the time, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct for inappropriately grabbing the breasts and inner thighs of a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
The university declined to comment further for this story. Adhikari could not be reached for comment.
Adhikari was released on $5,000 bail, according to court documents. He was fired from Fairleigh Dickinson University after he pleaded guilty, but remained an instructor at Rutgers and went on to instruct at Temple.
In 2009, Fairleigh Dickinson University officials did not send an alert to students about the misconduct because they believed Adhikari did not pose a threat to other students, NJ.com reported.
Each individual school and college at the university is responsible for hiring its adjunct instructors, wrote Sharon Littleton, associate vice president of human resources, in an email to The Temple News.
Employees, staff and faculty are subject to background checks if they are in direct contact with minors, operate heavy machinery or handle money. Those hiring the staff and faculty “answer questions” to determine if the background check is necessary, Littleton wrote.
Adjunct faculty, like Adhikari, go through this same process, she added.
Some Fox students are concerned with the university’s decision to hire Adhikari after he was charged with sexual misconduct.
“Some of these kids are underage,” said Samantha Regan, a senior finance major. “You don’t want that around them. You wouldn’t want to give your university that name. If you know somebody’s background, why would you want that at your institution?”
“I think that put students at risk,” Regan added. “They should look into students that may have been affected by him.”
Julian de Jongh, a sophomore finance major, said it is “horrible” that the university hired someone with a history of sexual misconduct.
“They should have not hired him,” he added. “If I was a parent, I would be nervous sending my kid to this school. Schools should do better at background checks.”