Lithuanian national prize winner Trimakas breached ethical norms - watchdog
Lithuanian National Culture and Arts Prize winner, photographer Gintautas Trimakas violated the ethical norms of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, or VDA, when he tried to enter into "non-academic relationships “with his female students, the higher school's Ethics Committee has stated.
Architect Marius Saliamoras, chairman of the committee, told reporters on Monday that it is up to the Senate and the rector to decide what disciplinary action to take, but the lecturer will most probably be given a severe reprimand or be fired.
The committee announced its findings after examining complaints from two female students.
"We must state that Paragraph 7.2 of the Code of Ethics was violated. This is about humiliating a member of the academic community by using one's superior position. Paragraph 8.1 of the Code of Ethics was also violated, namely that part about an intention by a student or a lecturer to establish a non-academic relationship with a student," Saliamoras said.
The VDA Senate is to discuss these findings on Wednesday.
Saliamoras also said that the committee's decision had nothing to do with the planned presentation of the national prize to the photographer on Thursday.
Trimakas, who has been accused of misconduct and sexual harassment, insists that he had no improper intentions toward his students.
"I can't deny that there was some coming closer together, because I am too friendly. If I was misunderstood, then it is up to any individual to decide what to think about it," he told reporters on Monday.