A professor at UMKC’s School of Pharmacy resigned last week following accusations that he exploited foreign graduate students who worked under him. The professor, Dr. Ashim Mitra, left the university shortly before a final hearing concerning his future at UMKC.
After the Kansas City Star published an article about the alleged exploitation of his students last November, the university suspended Mitra with pay to investigate his actions.
Mitra had been accused of using Indian graduate students as “slave laborers,” pressuring them to perform menial tasks such as taking care of his house and dog, mowing his lawn and bailing filthy water out of his flooded basement. A number of Mitra’s former students told the Star they felt forced to do so, fearing Mitra would provoke the loss of their student visas.
The Star also claimed UMKC administration ignored complaints about Mitra for years because of the millions in grant dollars he brought in for the school.
“As I have stated unequivocally, UMKC does not tolerate misconduct,” said Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal in a statement earlier this month.
Agrawal added that UMKC’s Standard of Faculty Conduct applies to all professors equally, “regardless of title, rank or how many donors or external funding they bring in.”
According to the terms of his resignation, Mitra is not allowed on campus without permission and is banned from contacting students.