UConn Professor Resigns After Inappropriate Relationship With Employee
Ram D. Gopal, an Indian American professor and the University of Connecticut’s Operations and Information Management, has resigned in the wake of allegations that he violated the university’s policies by unduly favoring his administrative assistant.
Gopal was accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with an employee whom he supervised, according to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
Gopal also violated school’s travel policies, including invalid business travel expenses and taking his administrative assistant, Melissa Burk, on non-university related trips, and also approving compensatory time for her without proper approvals, according to an official university memo, according to the UConn Daily Campus.
University memo in December 2017 cited that UConn Audit and Management Advisory Services was asked to assist the Office of University Compliance on an anonymous allegation that Gopal and Burk incorrectly charged business travel expenses to the university.
The assistant accompanied Gopal on trips to Dublin, Ireland; Los Angeles, Calif.; South Korea, and India. They billed the university nearly $24,000 for those trips that were used for “sightseeing.”
Burk and Gopal were also reported to have approved each other’s travel expenditures as well as their joint participation in travel despite him being her direct supervisor.
Before tending his resignation, Reitz said, Gopal offered to reimburse the university for all improper travel expenses incurred. It is unclear if that happened.
Gopal was hired by UConn in 1993.
Burk is still employed by the university.