Professor ordered to not contact students, resigned under pressure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/14/10

TTUHSC professor ordered to not contact students, resigned under pressure

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By James Clark | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A former Texas Tech Health Sciences Center professor resigned under pressure, KCBD NewsChannel 11 has learned in a follow up story from late June.

The Texas Tech HSC released new documents Wednesday after an open records request. Included is the resignation letter of Rod Hicks Ph.D. dated June 25th. Also included is a letter from HSC President Tedd Mitchell June 24th telling Hicks that he is suspended and ordering him "not to come on the campus or interact with TTUHSC students…"

Hicks' resignation is one sentence. It says, "I wish to voluntarily separate from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as soon as possible."

Sources in the medical and academic communities told KCBD NewsChannel 11 that Hicks was found to have been viewing sexually oriented material in an Internet video feed that students were instructed to watch. The video started with official instruction and then changed to Hick's personal Internet usage after the instruction was over.

More recently KCBD NewsChannel 11 has learned from sources that the sexually oriented materials did not consist of images. But rather, they consisted of written descriptions of fictitious activities that if carried out would be illegal.

Last month KCBD NewsChannel 11 broke the story that Hicks was removed from the Endowed Chair for Patient Safety at the request of University Medical Center, which put up the money for the program back in 2008.

Some documents, including the Internet video, were not provided because the HSC says they could interfere with the Texas Tech police department investigation a spokesperson said.

However, one documented complaint of Hicks' behavior was released. It appears to have come from an HSC staffer but name, gender, and other identifiers have been removed from the publicly released copy.

It says on December 4th 2009 Hicks pushed himself into the other person's arm in what some people would describe as sexual or inappropriate way. The text of the complaint says in part, "The manner in which he pressed against me was very purposeful and forceful and was the only part of his body touching me."

It goes on to say, "I was in shock and began to have an anxiety attack."

Hicks also resigned from his position as Vice President of the Texas Nurses Association.

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