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September 22, 2023

CNN: Nichols president sent racy texts implying favoritism to student while serving as instructor at USCG Academy

Photo | Matt Wright Former Nichols College President Glenn Sulmasy

In a comprehensive investigative story, CNN reported on Thursday the now president of Nichols College, Glenn Sulmasy, exchanged more than 1,600 texts – some of which were racy and indicated a willingness to show favoritism – with a student when he was serving as an instructor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

Sulmasy’s lawyer Jeffrey Robbins told CNN the texts were consensual in nature.

As part of its report, CNN found in 2016 prosecutors recommended Sulmasy be charged with conduct unbecoming an officer related to improprieties with a student when he was a USCG instructor. He was ultimately not charged.

In its investigative report, CNN said a U.S. Coast Guard investigation found 1,600 texts between Sulmasy and a student at the academy. The CNN story does include specific examples of text exchanges. The student denied any sexual contact with Sulmasy in the USCG investigation. 

The report comes days after Sulmasy announced that he would take a voluntary leave of absence as Nichols president, as the Dudley school conducts a third-party investigation into another incident that CNN reported on in July alleging Sulmasy had counseled a cadet against pursuing an allegation of rape against another cadet.

Sulmasy’s attorney didn’t return requests for comments from WBJ on Friday, regarding the findings in CNN’s Thursday report. A spokesperson from Nichols said that the school had nothing to add beyond the statement it provided to CNN. 

"By policy, the College doesn’t comment on personnel matters or ongoing investigations. The College will have a response once our investigation has concluded," Vice President for Marketing and Communications Suzanne Hofmann said in an email to WBJ.

Additionally, CNN conducted an interview with a 2011 USCG Academy graduate, who alleges incidents of verbal harassment by Sulmasy, and said when she mentioned the incident to a professor, the professor described Sulmasy as untouchable.

The reports are part of a larger investigation that CNN has been pursuing into a USCG cover up of its own investigation into sexual assault, called Operation Fouled Anchor.

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