David Yesner appeals ban from University of Alaska property, events
Disgraced former University of Alaska Anchorage professor David Yesner is appealing the University's sanctions against him, and requesting the case be kept confidential.
Yesner is the subject of a Title IX investigation into sexual discrimination and sexual harassment that found accusations against him from nine women to be credible. A redacted report from investigators illuminates an environment in which Yesner had no fear of getting caught, while the women around him formed a network, sharing "war stories" to warn others about a predator.
After KTVA's original reporting of the investigation's findings in March, UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen issued sanctions against Yesner on April 1, according to a letter from the Office of the Chancellor. The sanctions permanently ban Yesner from all property owned, controlled or used by the University of Alaska System, and from participation, affiliation, or association of any kind with the University.
The letter was followed by an alert to students from campus police that included a photo of Yesner and urged recipients of the email to report any sightings of Yesner violating the sanctions to authorities.
The sanctions represent a final decision by the University, according to the letter, and an appeal may be filed through state court within 30 days.
On April 30, Yesner filed an appeal. He also filed a request asking that the case be kept confidential. That request has not yet been addressed by a judge.
"Case has received significant media publicity to detriment of appellant," Yesner appears to have written on the request. "Appellant respectfully requests that case be kept confidential to minimize impact on reputation.”
In his appeal, Yesner asserts that investigators who compiled the Title IX report did not interview the complainants before determining their credibility, and failed to tell him about the allegations against him when seeking to interview him as part of the investigation.
Both of those claims are negated by the investigative report. The document lists the date on which interviews with the complainants were conducted and describes the process by which investigators attempted to interview Yesner.
After citing health issues to delay the interview, he eventually declined to participate, according to the report.
Yesner also claims the sanctions against him are improper and inconsistent with the alleged misconduct, and argues they violate his constitutional rights.
He is currently representing himself in the appeal process.
In response to his appeal, UAA spokesperson Kirstin Olmstead emailed the following statement:
"The University of Alaska plans to vigorously defend the findings identified through the University of Alaska Anchorage's Title IX investigation and the resulting sanctions."
Last week, Yesner was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit. The civil suit, filed by attorneys representing five Jane Does, also targets the University of Alaska System and the Board of Regents.
The women claim that for decades, Yesner was permitted to use the University of Alaska Anchorage campus as his own personal "hunting ground," preying on women who depended on him for academic and professional success, all while the university chose to shield its reputation rather than protect female students.
The plaintiffs are seeking tuition reimbursements, a public apology and the removal of Yesner's name from official University documents, among other things.
Repeated attempts to contact Yesner for comment have gone unanswered.
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