ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A University of New Mexico professor who admits he had an inappropriate relationship with a student is suing UNM for putting him on leave. The professor says while he crossed the line with a grad student, he should not have been punished.
UNM Anderson School of Management associate professor Nick Flor admits he had an inappropriate relationship with a grad student in 2018. He said the two began exchanging emails, and according to court documents, those emails became “flirtatious and explicit.”
But, something went wrong along the way.
In a lawsuit filed just three days ago, Flor is suing the university. In it, he claims the student began sending harassing text messages and said if he didn’t reply, she would share their email exchange with the university.
Flor is a well-known professor at UNM and has been featured on KRQE News 13’s newscasts, and even on Fox News. The woman was not Flor’s student and even turned down an offer to do paid research for him.
But when she threatened to out their e-mails, that’s when Flor said he came forward to his department chair about the relationship. He filed a complaint against the student, and then she fired back by filing a restraining order against him.
The grad student claims Flor wanted to email through his personal account, not their school accounts, so they couldn’t be “spied on.” She also claims he sent emails saying he wanted to have sex with her in his office.
Flor’s lawsuit says after a “short investigation,” UNM determined it was he who had violated the university’s Title IX policies and suspended him for a year without pay.
He claims the university never provided adequate due process and he was never allowed to confront his accuser. He was also denied appeals by both the president and the Board of Regents.
Flor is asking the university to reverse its findings from their investigation, expunge the information from his personnel file, and he wants his suspension lifted.
In addition, he’s asking for an undisclosed amount of money for damages. As part of Flor’s suspension, he is also not allowed to work anywhere for more than 39 days. If he does, he has to resign from UNM.
KRQE News 13 reached out to UNM, and although the school has not yet been served with the lawsuit, a spokesperson released the following statement:
“The University of New Mexico abides by UNM policies and state and federal laws relating to FERPA and disciplinary matters, as well as Title IX regulations. We do not discuss any information related to student educational records or individual personnel matters.”