Embattled CCSU Professor Admitted to Outpatient Facility

A Central Connecticut State University professor was promoted while in jail last year and arrested again last month has been admitted to an outpatient facility, according to a judge at Middletown Superior Court.

Ravi Shankar, 40, an English professor at CCSU who has been suspended without pay, was most recently accused of returning merchandise he did not purchase at Home Depot in Middletown and receiving $1,339.75 in store credit.

Shankar was due in court Wednesday morning but did not appear. A judge said Shankar has been admitted to an outpatient facility but did not say what for what.

Shankar was the subject of controversy when he was promoted to full-time status at CCSU while booked into jail in May 2014. At the time, he was waiting to face charges from an arrest in 2012.

He was arrested again in December 2014 after crashing his car while driving with a suspended license, according to police. Shankar was charged with several motor vehicle violations and has pleaded not guilty.

A state lawmaker is now calling for Shankar's termination.

"This inaction by your office prompted legislation to be proposed dealing with the conduct of professors 'outside' the classroom," State Sen. Kevin Witkos wrote in a letter to CCSU President Jack Miller. "As stated by several members of the Higher Education and Employment Committee, we have concerns that someone who has committed these types of crimes is allowed to continue as a professor in our University System. We view this as a safety issue and a role modeling issue."

He called Shankar "unfit to discharge his professional responsibilities" due to "his continuous disregard for the law."

Shankar called the incident at Home Depot a misunderstanding and told officers they were "taking (employees') word for it," according to the police report.

"The facts of this matter have not been accurately reported and I am glad to live in a society where there is a presumption of innocence," Shankar said in an email to NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "I look forward to my day in court and in the meantime ask that you might respect me and my family's privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

His case has been continued to Aug. 26.

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