Rutgers professor returns after administrative leave amid sexual assault case

<p>Professor Nabil Adam, who is married, allegedly had an 18-month sexual relationship with one of his graduate students. She has filed a civil case against him and the Office of Employment Equity is investigating the allegations.&nbsp;</p>

Professor Nabil Adam, who is married, allegedly had an 18-month sexual relationship with one of his graduate students. She has filed a civil case against him and the Office of Employment Equity is investigating the allegations. 


Nabil Adam, who previously worked as the vice chancellor for Research and Collaborations at Rutgers University—Newark, will return to an office at the Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick this semester after a paid administrative leave which began on Nov. 28, 2017, when the University began an investigation into whether he sexually assaulted and harassed one of his graduate students. 

According to a document originally sent to the student involved and obtained by The Daily Targum, the two should have no contact with one another. The document is signed by Jerome Williams, the executive vice chancellor and provost at Rutgers—Newark. 

The document advised the student to contact the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) if Adam attempted to contact her while she was on campus, in violation of Rutgers' no-contact order. She is also required to alert Williams 48 hours in advance if the two are scheduled to attend the same departmental conferences, meetings or anywhere else they may meet at Rutgers—New Brunswick or Rutgers—Newark. 

The Daily Targum reported in March 2018 that the University had opened a sexual assault and harassment investigation into Adam. The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said she first began to work with Adam as his research assistant when she came to Rutgers in 2015. 

Shortly after, on Jan. 14, 2016, Adam allegedly acted inappropriately. According to a recapitulation the student submitted to the Office for Civil Rights, “Professor Adam then started touching her inappropriately in between her legs and tried to pull her pants down. At that point, there seemed to be someone around in the building and Professor Adam realizes that the place was inappropriate, and both (the student) and him left thereafter. However, he then repeatedly asked her to go over to their Research Lab with him.”

The two went to the lab at approximately 6:30 p.m., where Adam made unwanted sexual contact, according to the report. 

Similar behavior began again a few days after the initial incident, ultimately culminating in an 18-month sexual relationship between the two, the Targum reported. She attempted suicide on July 2, 2017. 

Adam's paid administrative leave officially began on Nov. 28, 2017, the same day the student filed a report of her allegations to the Office of Employment Equity. 

The student, the Targum reported in Oct. 2018, brought a civil case against Adam, the University and Periklis Papakonstantinou, an assistant professor at the Department of Management Science and Information Systems (MSIS) for a Title IX violation and related failure to investigate her complaints among other grievances.

Peter Englot, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff at Rutgers—Newark, said on the matter, "the University is unable to comment on confidential personnel matters, including any corrective and/or disciplinary actions."


Editor's Note: A previous version incorrectly stated that Adam would return to teach at the Rutgers Business School. It stated that The Daily Targum obtained a document from Jerome Williams. Corrections have been made to this article. The article is also updated with a comment from the University.


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