Professor resigns after porn cache found by student

By on September 24, 2013
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By Savion Taylor–

Assistant Professor Tommy Parker submitted his resignation from the university last week, with an effective date of July 31. Part of the reason for this sudden departure could be self-produced porn, that at least one student viewed. U of L spokesperson Mark Hebert confirmed that Parker has left the university.

Parker had been an assistant professor of biology at the university for six years and would have been up for tenure this year.

A former graduate student attests to having seen the pornography while working on Parker’s office computer, which was university property. The short film starred Parker and a woman engaging in sexual acts. The student described “at least 10” graphic photos in addition to the video.

When asked where the porn starring the professor was made, the student confirmed that it was not made on campus.

“Parker was up for tenure, and was trying to rush papers. He tried to delete it, but ran out of time before the administration confiscated his computer,” the student said.

On his Twitter page, @drtommyp, Parker responded to the statement “A survey by the pleasure giant @adamevestore estimates the 84 (percent) of adults have never made a sex tape,” by saying, “Clearly 84 (percent) of people need encouragement.” Parker tweeted this on Sept.18.

Parker’s efforts produced some of the best-known urban ecology research in the region. His projects focused on population dynamics and behavioral adaptations of urbanized vertebrate species. He also cataloged all Belknap campus trees and developed an interactive tree map and app.

In a 2010 publication by the university, Dr. Mordean Taylor-Archer, Vice-Provost for Diversity and International Affairs, said, “Dr. Parker is representative of the many outstanding faculty of color whose scholarship, curiosity and research skills are contributing greatly to our body of knowledge and helping the university realize its mission and goals.”

While visiting the Urban Wildlife Research Lab in the Life Sciences building, lab Research Coordinator Bill Persons told the Cardinal, “The lab is closed.” Parker’s office and workspace was also locked.

When asked additional questions regarding Parker, Persons directed The Cardinal to Parker’s legal counsel for further information. Biology chairperson Ronald Fell did not respond to Cardinal questions about Parker’s status within the biology department.

Parker, a former player for the Atlanta Falcons, is a prolific user of social media.  Cardinal attempts to contact him through Facebook and Twitter have gone unanswered.

Hebert said that a term professor has been hired to teach Parker’s classes, and that urban ecology was neither a degree program nor an official designation for Parker’s lab — it was only the name that Parker gave to his classroom.

When asked about Parker’s resignation, the former graduate student who originally saw the porn said, “He’s smart, but in the end he got outsmarted.”

It has yet to be confirmed whether Parker’s resignation was voluntary or involuntary.

Editor-in-Chief Simon Isham contributed to this article.

About Simon Isham

Simon Isham is the Editor-in-Chief of The Louisville Cardinal, where he has worked since 2012. For his reporting at the Cardinal, he has won awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has also written for LEO Weekly and Insider Louisville. He will graduate in December, 2014.

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