INDIANAPOLIS — Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar was arrested in Wisconsin following charges of “use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement, and expose a child to harmful materials, narrations.”
The college announced Monday that he was fired from his position he has held for nearly five years and that the college is severing his relationship with the campus. 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.
In a memo to the Franklin College community, Jim Due, chair of the Board of Trustees, wrote:
“Over the weekend, the College terminated the employment of President, Thomas J. Minar, when we became aware of a deeply disturbing incident.
“The College was made aware of, and Dr. Minar confirmed, his recent arrest in Wisconsin. The College was notified of the arrest from an email from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department. It stated in part that Dr. Minar was “taken into custody in Sturgeon Bay, WI, Door County for Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Sex Crime, Child Enticement, and Expose a Child to Harmful Materials/Narrations and was released from custody on bond, subject to no direct contact with minors unless supervised and not to use social media.”
“Due to the nature of the arrest, Franklin’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee felt it was essential to act immediately and sever his relationship with the College.
“The safety of Franklin students is always our highest priority. To that end, the College has launched an investigation concerning Dr. Minar’s conduct while President. While there are systems already in place, additional resources will be engaged to continue to provide our students a safe, confidential means to report incidents of inappropriate behavior. Should you have information that you believe would be helpful in this investigation, we urge you to contact the college’s director of security Steve Leonard at (317) 738-8316.
“Be assured that the Franklin College Board of Trustees is as stunned as you are by this event. 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 work to ensure the safety of our campus community.
“Pursuant to the College’s bylaws, Lori Schroeder, Provost and Dean of the College, will serve as interim president until Franklin’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee can appoint an acting President, which should occur early this week.
“We are working on organizing a meeting for our campus community to share and connect. We will provide details shortly.
“An incident of this magnitude understandably can shake the core of our campus. 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.”
Victoria Ratliff and Lacey Watt are reporters for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.