Professor Travis Pratt Fired From ASU, Settles With Student Who Sued After Affair

Categories: News

Professor Travis Pratt's affair with a graduate student didn't work out so well.

The criminal-justice expert has agreed to settle the student's lawsuit at the end of this month. He and his wife are no longer married.

And he was fired from Arizona State University -- on Valentine's Day.

See also:
-Ex-ASU Student Sues for Harassment and Retaliation After Soured Affair With Professor
-ASU Professor's Soured Affair with Grad Student Still Grinding Through Court

Travis Pratt
Pratt was actually fired for an affair with a second student -- not Kunzi.

Pratt arrived at ASU in 2008 from Washington State University, a humorous and popular teacher whose research on crime and prisons have been published extensively. One his students, Tasha Kunzi, whose masters thesis committee Pratt had chaired, followed him out and enrolled in ASU's criminal-justice doctoral program. The two began a romantic affair that lasted until Pratt's wife found out.

Kunzi broke off the relationship, claiming that Pratt's wife had begun harassing her. According to a lawsuit she filed in October of 2012, Pratt then retaliated against her. She claimed that he stalked her home on his motorcycle, bugged her on the phone, spread rumors about her to people in the criminal-justice department and hassled her new boyfriend, who was also student in the department.

kunzi tasha 2.JPG
Tasha Kunzi
In responses to Kunzi's claims, Pratt did not refute the general allegations, instead focusing on defeating the lawsuit on technicalities. See our previous stories for full details.

Kunzi had also sued department director Scott Decker, ASU and the state Board of Regents. Those defendants were dismissed from the lawsuit last month.

Pratt and Kunzi, however, are to complete their settlement agreement by April 25, court records show. The settlement terms were not made public.

Kunzi could not be reached, and her lawyer, Stephen Montoya, did not return our messages last week and today.

We noticed today that Pratt's ASU bio and listing as a faculty member had disappeared. We inquired with ASU this afternoon, and spokeswoman Sharon Keeler sent this statement:

"Professor Travis Pratt's employment with the University ended February 14, 2014. He was dismissed for violation of university policy as well as violation of ASU's Code of Ethics for faculty and the Standards of Professional Conduct for Faculty Members and Academic Professionals."
Kunzi, meanwhile, married her boyfriend and now has two kids.

UPDATE: After publication, ASU confirmed that Pratt was fired not due to Kunzi, but because he had violated amorous-relationship policies with another student.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

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Geez, more proof that people can be really intelligent in some areas of their lives but really, really stupid in others. For starters, people should not get involved romantically with people they work with. Very bad idea. Doubly bad: a faculty member getting involved with a student. Hate to be harsh, but in these politically correct times, & with decent faculty jobs as scarce as they are, any male faculty member who would do this deserves whatever repercussions befall him. Maybe he can get a job somewhere as an adjunct & teach for starvation wages.


Looks like the well boring went well.  A couple of gushers.  Too bad the first miner didn't hit pay-dirt.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

How many time does one have to hear this? It's a warning that has stood the test of time. "Hell hath no fury like a woman, scorned." The guy's shrew of a wife gets wind of his affair with some young vixen. The wife divorces him and his comely concubine breaks it off and sues. What part of this sordid cautionary tale would not one understand? 


Let me see if I have this right Ray. He came to ASU in 2008 from Washington State University. Any reason you had to repeat that fact a sentence after you had already established that fact? Is there an editor anywhere in the house? If I want to read unedited crap I can go to AZ Family. Do better Ray. Do better New Times

TommyCollins topcommenter

I think this is one of those cases where "it's the effin you get for the effin you got". Now that he's single and likely unemployed he may not be getting much of anything.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@TommyCollins  Yes. As an expert in criminal justice, perhaps he can wrangle a job with DOC. Entry-level, patrolling the exercise yard. Watching dudes get shanked. Maybe getting shanked himself.

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