Professor guilty of misconduct

By Erica Thomas Reporter

More than a year after an accounting professor was suspended from the University for threatening to kill his students, no changes have been made to deal with future cases.

Norman Eckel, associate professor in the department of accounting and marketing information systems, threatened to bring in a gun and shoot the members of his Accounting 222 class last February as a result of a student’s tardiness.

According to Teri Sharp, director of Media Relations, Eckel was suspended with pay during Spring 2005 while the University conducted an investigation.

Following the conclusion of the investigation, Eckel was allowed to continue his suspension without pay until Jan. 1, 2006. The suspension was due to his violation of two sections of the Academic Charter, Sharp said.

Now that the suspension has officially ended in January, Eckel is on approved leave from the University.

The Faculty Senate, who reviewed his case, is partly responsible for dealing with matters concerning conduct of faculty.

Currently, no changes have been made regarding punishments of professors, but Faculty Senate may soon be discussing new ways to handle cases like Eckel’s, according to Robert Boughton, chairman of the Faculty Senate.

“We have Senate committees working on establishing a written formal procedure in the case of faculty suspension, and keeping the procedure in line with the recommendations of the American Association of University Professors,” Boughton said.

Although no former students of Eckel could be reached, could provide insight to how former students felt about him.

The Web site allows students to write comments and rate their professor’s teaching skills and character.

Among the five pages of student-opinions on Eckel, most comments were unfavorable for the professor.

“What goes around comes around Mr. Eckel,” reads one comment from

Another student advises his peers not to take Eckel’s classes, warning, “Avoid at all costs.”