Franklin College President Fired After Arrest On Sex Charges
By Victoria Ratliff and Lacey Watt
INDIANAPOLIS—Franklin College President Thomas Minar was fired after the school’s Board of Trustees learned he had been arrested in Wisconsin on charges connected to using a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement and exposing a child to harmful narrations.
James V. Due, president of the Board of Trustees, said in an email sent Monday to the college community that the board acted after learning of the arrest via an email from police in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Due’s note did not say when the arrest occurred.
“This is the first such incident the board has been made aware of regarding Dr. Minar, and we are committed to cooperating fully with Wisconsin authorities and working to ensure the safety of our campus community,” Due wrote.
Due said that the executive committee felt it was essential to act immediately when members learned of the arrest and sever Minar’s relationship with the college.
The Associated Press reported that Minar was arrested on Jan. 6 by Sturgeon Bay police and freed on a $7,500 bond following a hearing the next day. Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin told the Associated Press that she expects to file criminal charges soon.
Under terms of his release, Minar is to have no direct unsupervised contact with minors and he is barred from using social media.
Minar, a native of Illinois, spent three decades working for educational institutions, including American University, Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois. Before joining Franklin in 2015 as the college’s 16thpresident, he was the vice president of development and alumni relations at American University in Washington D.C.
In an email to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Minar said: “I very much regret the circumstances which led the college to terminate our relationship.”
“My years at Franklin have been very rewarding and I am extraordinarily grateful to so many staff and faculty who have worked hard with me to advance the college in these challenging times for higher education,” Minar wrote. “I wish nothing but the best for Franklin College and for the people who make it the wonderful institution it has become.”
Lori Schroeder, provost and dean of the college, will serve as interim president until the Board of Trustees executive committee appoints an acting president, which should occur within a week.
Minar had been scheduled to leave his post at the end of the current academic year and as president had put in place policies to deal with sexual misconduct and student safety.
Franklin College has launched an investigation into Minar’s conduct while president, Due said, adding that students will have a safe and confidential way to report incidents of inappropriate behavior.
“An incident of this magnitude understandably can shake the core of our campus,” Due said. “The Board of Trustees and college leadership are committed to working together and doing what we as a Franklin College community do best – caring and supporting one another – while staying focused on the important goal of educating the next generation of innovative leaders.”
FOOTNOTE: Victoria Ratliff and Lacey Watt are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.