Professor Previously on Leave Due to Criminal Conviction Resigns
by Frankie James Albin | published Nov. 28th, 2017
Charles “Sandy” Baldwin, a former associate English professor in COLA at RIT that was put on administrative leave earlier this semester has recently resigned. He was put on administrative leave on Aug. 30, after RIT learned about a past criminal conviction related to soliciting a minor in Harrison County, W. Va.
Baldwin was arrested in June 2015 as a part of a sting conducted by local police. Baldwin communicated with what he thought to be a 15-year-old girl, and set up a meeting with her on June 23 in Bridgeport, W. Va but cancelled at the last minute because he (correctly) suspected it was a police sting.
Baldwin is currently on one-year probation, beginning on Dec. 9, 2016. The conviction was a misdemeanor of "obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, cellphones and electronic communication devices,” according to a Morgantown, W. Va. Newspaper, The Exponent Telegram.
The crime occurred in June 2015 in West Virginia while Baldwin was a faculty member at West Virginia University, two months before he began his position as a professor at RIT. His conviction came one year later.
His arrest occurred after he was offered and had accepted his position at RIT, and therefore did not come up in background checks made by the university.
On Aug. 29, 2017, RIT received an email from an employee at West Virginia University, Baldwin's former employer, informing RIT of Baldwin’s past conviction and current probation. RIT responded promptly and put Baldwin on administrative leave the following day.
“We are now following RIT’s employee policy regarding Professor Baldwin’s future standing with the university. RIT is committed to providing an environment that encourages, promotes, and protects its students, faculty, and staff,” wrote James Winebrake, dean of COLA, in an email to faculty and staff.
There is no evidence to suggest that behavior related to this conviction was repeated during Baldwin’s role as a professor at RIT. In fact, many students spoke positively about their former professor.
Baldwin has, again, resigned and is no longer at RIT.