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Report: 19 UC Berkeley Employees Violated Sexual Harassment Policy

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Students walk near Sather Tower on the UC Berkeley campus. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Documents released by UC Berkeley show 19 employees, including six faculty members, were found to have sexually harassed students, employees or both since 2011.

The records obtained Tuesday by the East Bay Times after a Public Records Act request reveal 11 more cases, in addition to the recent high-profile sexual harassment cases involving a renowned astronomy professor, a vice chancellor, the dean of the law school and Cal's assistant basketball coach.

The reports show sexual harassment complaints against an assistant diving coach, a counselor for disabled students, an adjunct statistics professor, and an assistant professor in South and Southeast Asian studies, the subject of a San Francisco Chronicle story on March 28. Seven of the victims were students and 10 were employees.

The documents showed that all of the employees fired over the violations were staff members, and none were tenured faculty, the newspaper said.

School spokesman Dan Mogulof told the newspaper the relatively small number of overall cases makes it difficult to say whether professors are given preferential treatment over staffers, but a new task force summoned by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks will review all the cases and their handling.


"We want everything to be examined, up to and including how discipline is imposed and whether indeed there are disparities of how discipline is imposed based on the status of the accused," Mogulof said. "The writing is on the wall. We know we must do a better job."

The release of the reports come as UC Berkeley faces a growing outcry over its handling of sexual harassment and misconduct on campus. It prompted University of California President Janet Napolitano to announce last month a new process for reviewing sexual harassment claims against administrators. A new system-wide committee would review and approve all proposed penalties for high-level administrators who violate sexual assault and harassment policies.

Some Background

Calls to combat sexual harassment and assaults at UC Berkeley come after a string of high-profile incidents.

Sujit Choudhry resigned as dean of UC Berkeley Law School on March 10 after his former executive assistant alleged in a lawsuit that her boss received only a temporary pay cut and orders to undergo counseling as punishment after a campus investigation that substantiated her claims that he repeatedly kissed and touched her.

Days later, Cal officials disclosed that campus investigators found that assistant men’s basketball coach Yann Hufnagel had violated the school’s sexual harassment policy. Head coach Cuonzo Martin then moved to fire Hufnagel. Now Cal officials are reviewing whether Martin properly handled the initial allegations against Hufnagel. But Hufnagel is fighting back, and his attorneys have provided the school with hundreds of new texts they claim show a "mutually flirtatious" relationship

Last fall, Geoffrey Marcy, a prominent Berkeley astronomer, resigned after news reports disclosed a campus investigation had substantiated sexual harassment complaints from several female students.

Actions Taken Against Staff

From the East Bay Times:

The new documents reveal that all of the employees fired as a result of sexual harassment violations were staff members; none were tenured faculty.

Faculty: Three of the six remain on the faculty, including two who stepped down from administrative roles; three resigned from the university, including an adjunct employee under the threat of termination; and discipline in one case is pending.

Staff: Four staff members were fired from the university and two resigned under threat of dismissal; two were suspended; three received pay cuts or demotions; one got a warning and one has appealed his firing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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