Exeter Teacher Arrested For Shoplifting, Leaves Campus on Administrative Leave

Mark Delaney, a Phillips Exeter faculty member for the past 20 years, is on administrative leave after his arrest for shoplifting last month. Mr. Delaney, a 50-year-old English instructor, was released after he posted a $500 personal recognizance bail. The court date has not yet been set. The alleged shoplifting occured at a business establishment in the town of Exeter. The Exeter Police Department declined to release any further information about Delaney’s shoplifting charge while the trial is pending. The Exeter administration announced at a weekly faculty meeting that Mr. Delaney would be absent for the remainder of the term, but faculty were not told the reasons why. Three weeks after his arrest, the information was released to residents of Delaney’s dorm at a dorm meeting and then to the rest of the community through an Exonian article the next day. After hearing a rumor in the dining hall that Delaney was arrested, Exeter’s Exonian staff investigated online police logs and reported the reason behind Mr. Delaney’s absence. When the article was released, no official information about Delaney’s leave had been given to the student body. Delaney is a Soule Hall dorm affiliate. According the The Exonian, residents of his dorm were told that Delaney’s absence was due to illness. Some students, however, discovered Delaney’s name on the Exeter police web site. Soule Hall head Tiffany Trotter confirmed news of Delaney’s arrest and administrative leave at a dorm meeting last week, the day before The Exonian’s article came out. She mentioned the upcoming article. Dorm resident Cal Holt ’09 said, “They basically told it to us before [the story was printed] so we wouldn’t be surprised.” Exonian Editor-in-Chief Libbie Cohn ’08 said, “There’s some buzz on campus discussing whether ornot we should have run the story.” As of Wednesday night, the Exeter administration had not responded formally to the article. Mr. Delaney is one of the most popular Soule Hall dorm faculty members, according to Holt. Delaney does not live in Soule Hall, but he checks sign-in at least once per week. Holt said, “I was surprised [to hear of Mr. Delaney’s arrest] because he’s really nice and everyone likes him…I just hope that he can get back to the dorm as soon as possible, and I think other people do too.” Although Mr. Delaney planned on speaking directly to dorm residents on Wednesday last week, he could not travel to Exeter due to weather conditions. Trotter also announced that Delaney would respond to students’ emails. Mark Delaney is also an advisor, clerk of the Board of Trustees and dorm affiliate. He has served on Exeter’s Curriculum Review Committee. Mr. Delaney’s duties have been temporarily delegated to other faculty members and administrators.