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UNC professor resigns over text messages

Posted November 18, 2010

— A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor resigned Tuesday amid an internal investigation into sexually explicit text messages he sent to a student, officials said Thursday.

Monty Cook was the executive producer of the Reese Felts Digital News Project in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The program is designed to test theories about online news and marketing.

Cook attributed his departure to "developments in my personal life," but a Monday letter from Dean Jean Folkerts states that Cook had been put on "off-campus assignment" last weekend after allegations surfaced about a relationship between him and a female student.

The student's former boyfriend confronted Cook last week about sexually explicit texts the professor sent to the student. Folkerts said in the letter that she spoke with the student on Sunday and reviewed messages "that seem to indicate (Cook) initiated and fostered an amorous relationship with the student" in violation of university policies.

Cook was told to remain off campus and not contact any UNC journalism students while officials investigated the case, but he submitted his resignation a day later.


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  • WritNEWlaws Nov 18, 2010

    I wonder when all of these sick men are going to learn to just be happy in their marriage. Is it really worht loosing a valuable job and a possible marriage? I guess most of these sick men have a huge financial back-up plan. Sad!

  • BigUNCFan Nov 18, 2010

    This guy is sure not smart. Texts can be used as evidence as they live indefinitely and you can trace who sent them. Wow.

  • Bon Viveur Nov 18, 2010

    This man is no looker. Had the female student even seen him, or had he just text-stalked her? One would think that a young attractive college lady could have her pic of suitors, and this man is not the pick of the litter by a long shot. I just wonder what his WIFE thinks about all this.

  • freddie cadetti 72 Nov 18, 2010

    I am thoroughly disgusted. How can anyone in their right mind justify this kind of behavior? Oh...I'm so sorry, I wasn't talking about the "thing" between the professor and the female student. I'm talking about this fancy-shmancy title and the off the wall program of testing theories of on line news and marketing. What a waste of taxpayers dollars. Sounds like a crip course for atheletes.

  • Insane in the left lane Nov 18, 2010

    I'm sure it's against the university policy that everyone signs regardless of whether they read it or not.

  • BuglessDuster Nov 18, 2010

    The "academic freedom" card will be played in 5, 4, 3, 2...

  • DizzyDaphnee Nov 18, 2010

    Older men DON'T NEED to romance their students, they choose to. Right on for the boyfriend, not sure though this girl of his won't bring him more grief down the road with other "teachers."

    I am happy teach resigned, young women in academia really don't need older men leching after them.

  • I am not who you think I am Nov 18, 2010

    'Is it against the law, or against university policy, for a teacher to have a relationship with a student?"...Jeremiah

    According to my son as long as they aren't majoring in the discipline or taking a class with that professor and as long as they don't openly flaunt it not alot is said. However it still not a good idea and the other professors frown heavily on it.

  • seankelly15 Nov 18, 2010

    wildcat -"Congratulations to the ex-boyfriend for taking a stand." If he wasn't an EX-boyfriend I might be more impressed by his motives.

  • SaltlifeLady Nov 18, 2010

    Unless he was stalking her, I dont see how this is an issue at the university level. THey are all adults, and sometimes the students are older than their professors. Sounds like the ex-boyfriend was just jealous.