Hanover College statement regarding campus ban in response to reported threat

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In late February, threats to the College campus by Professor Jim Stark were reported to the Hanover Town Police by a family member. These threats have been taken seriously by both the police and by the College.

Based on these reported threats, the College’s action has been to suspend Stark from duties until further notice and the College issued Stark a no-trespass order, banning him from campus until further notice.

In their response to the reported threats, the Hanover Police seized firearms and ammunition owned by Stark and, by action of the court March 6, the police will retain these weapons until a hearing on June 4, 2018, determines whether they will be returned.

In addition to concern about how the reported threats impacted the entire campus community, the College also was concerned about how the reported threats by Stark related to specific employees. Based on such concerns, the College filed petitions with the court seeking restraining orders barring Stark from contacting or being in the presence of two employees and their families. Other employees declined to be included in the application for a restraining order. Approved by the court, these restraining orders provide an additional buffer to the entire campus as well as specific protections to these individuals and their families until the hearing on June 4, at which time they may be extended.

In its response, the College has adhered to its policies and will continue to do so. This includes all decisions related to legal and employment action. In adherence to its policies, the College will make no further public comment on Stark’s employment status. Also, the College will implement additional safety and security measures as deemed appropriate.

Finally, the College will remain open and all regularly scheduled activities will continue, including classes, meetings, athletic events and concerts.

Lake Lambert, Ph.D.