Professor Travis Pratt Fired From ASU, Settles With Student Who Sued After Affair
Professor Travis Pratt's affair with a graduate student didn't work out so well.
The criminal-justice expert has agreed to settle the student's lawsuit at the end of this month. He and his wife are no longer married.
And he was fired from Arizona State University -- on Valentine's Day.
Pratt was actually fired for an affair with a second student -- not Kunzi.
Pratt arrived at ASU in 2008 from Washington State University, a humorous and popular teacher whose research on crime and prisons have been published extensively. One his students, Tasha Kunzi, whose masters thesis committee Pratt had chaired, followed him out and enrolled in ASU's criminal-justice doctoral program. The two began a romantic affair that lasted until Pratt's wife found out.
Kunzi broke off the relationship, claiming that Pratt's wife had begun harassing her. According to a lawsuit she filed in October of 2012, Pratt then retaliated against her. She claimed that he stalked her home on his motorcycle, bugged her on the phone, spread rumors about her to people in the criminal-justice department and hassled her new boyfriend, who was also student in the department.
In responses to Kunzi's claims, Pratt did not refute the general allegations, instead focusing on defeating the lawsuit on technicalities. See our previous stories for full details.
Kunzi had also sued department director Scott Decker, ASU and the state Board of Regents. Those defendants were dismissed from the lawsuit last month.
Pratt and Kunzi, however, are to complete their settlement agreement by April 25, court records show. The settlement terms were not made public.
Kunzi could not be reached, and her lawyer, Stephen Montoya, did not return our messages last week and today.
We noticed today that Pratt's ASU bio and listing as a faculty member had disappeared. We inquired with ASU this afternoon, and spokeswoman Sharon Keeler sent this statement:
"Professor Travis Pratt's employment with the University ended February 14, 2014. He was dismissed for violation of university policy as well as violation of ASU's Code of Ethics for faculty and the Standards of Professional Conduct for Faculty Members and Academic Professionals."
Kunzi, meanwhile, married her boyfriend and now has two kids.
UPDATE: After publication, ASU confirmed that Pratt was fired not due to Kunzi, but because he had violated amorous-relationship policies with another student.
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.
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