Students have mixed reactions about Whitman dean's removal

Kenneth Kavajecz will appear in court this week for patronizing a prostitute, prompting student debate.

Students of SU’s Whitman School of Business are divided on the issue of their dean’s dismissal.

Kenneth Kavajecz, 51, who became the business school’s dean in 2013, was removed from his position after being arrested this month in a police sting on misdemeanor charges of third-degree patronizing a prostitute in the town of Salina. He is due to appear in Salina Town Court on Thursday.

Whitman dean Kenneth Kavajecz is due to appear in court this Thursday.

Lauren Michaud, a freshman at the Whitman School said that she was surprised to hear what the dean had been arrested for.

“He brought the rank of the school from the 70s to the 20s, so I was upset to hear that he was being removed,” said Michaud, citing the Whitman School being ranked No. 23 on Bloomberg's list of "Best Undergraduate Business Schools" this year. She went on to say she agreed with his dismissal his actions could negatively affect the reputation of the school.

Peter Mignacca, also a student at Whitman, said that permanent dismissal may have been a severe reaction.

“He seemed like a great guy, a family man, and he just got married this summer,” Mignacca said. “He used to walk all around Whitman talking to students and asking how they were doing.”

Sophomore Alexandra Gootnough said that the dean’s contributions to the school were of little consequence and that students who did not agree with his dismissal did not understand the severity of the charges against him. 

Although students within the Whitman School have mixed reactions on whether or not Kavajecz should have been removed as the dean of the school, Michaud and Mignacca said that the removal has not affected their academics and that many teachers have not even mentioned the incident in class.

Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie is serving as acting Dean until the Whitman School begins the search for a permanent replacement.

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