NEW BRITAN, Conn. (WFSB) — A promotion while you’re in jail, that’s exactly what happened to a Central Connecticut State University professor.
According to records, 39-year-old Ravi Shankar has been in and out of the courtroom more than 20 times. Just last month, CCSU’s president recommended that he be promoted from associate professor to full professor.
The promotion was approved on Tuesday while Shankar sat in a Hartford jail.
Shankar is an English professor at CCSU and he’s also inmate number 3-9-6-9-6-4 at the Hartford Correctional Center. He was arrested late last week for violating probation.
“If he’s in jail and he’s a good teacher, then it probably won’t bother me too much,” said CCSU senior Steve Rosini.
Others are calling for action against Shankar.
“I was shocked and appalled to learn that Ravi Shankar was promoted by our state Board of Regents as he currently sits in prison. I am calling on… [the board of regents] to immediately reverse the decision,” said state Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-Canton).
In addition to this current arrest, Shankar has had previous brushes with the law. Court documents show he admitted lying to police about charges on his credit card statement.
He used CCSU computers to buy $22,000 in tickets to a soccer game in New Jersey. He originally said it was fraud, but later told police he wanted to sell the tickets to help pay off $70,000 in credit card debt.
He was also arrested for driving under the influence and almost two years ago, he was arrested for giving police another person’s drivers license when he crashed on Route 9.
With his promotion to professor, the Board of Regents said he will likely get a bigger paycheck.
“Getting paid more and sitting in jail, I think it is a bit ridiculous,” said CCSU Senior Kyle Appellof.
Connecticut Young Writers Trust disagree and they sent Eyewitness News a statement.
“(We) firmly stand by Chairman Ravi Shankar as he pays his debt to society for personal mistakes wholly unrelated to his educational mission,” the statement read.
CCSU President Jack Miller explained how the promotion happened.
“This is a very complex situation, but the simple answer is, it was my responsibility to inform the Board of Regents and I did not. At the time of the Board’s action I was not aware that Professor Shankar had been incarcerated. I have asked my staff to conduct a full investigation,” Miller said.
Shankar is back in court next week.
By Courtney Zieller