Berkeley suspends professor for harassing female student

BERKELEY – The University of California at Berkeley said on Wednesday that it has suspended a professor in its arts and humanities division for sexually harassing a female student 10 years ago. However, the university didn’t name the professor.

UC Berkeley said that in 2018, after an extensive investigation, its Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination “concluded that a professor violated the university’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy by engaging in unwelcomed verbal conduct of a sexual nature that was found to be sufficiently severe that it created a hostile environment and interfered with a complainant’s study and work.” The university said the behavior occurred between 2007 and 2009.

UC Berkeley said, “At all times, the professor denied, and continues to deny, the allegations and maintains that he did not engage in conduct that violated the (harassment) policy or the Faculty Code of Conduct.” The university said the investigation “did not find the professor responsible for violating the university’s non-discrimination policy by treating complainant differently from her peers based on her sex.”

UC Berkeley said a vice provost and the professor engaged in settlement negotiations before it brought administrative charges before the Committee on Privilege and Tenure of the Academic Senate. The university said it reached a settlement with the professor which includes a suspension and two-year limited access to the university, temporary denial of teaching or advising of new students and limiting the professor’s access to the campus “to that which is afforded to general members of the public.” UC Berkeley said, “The campus remains firmly committed to increasing transparency on the issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence.”

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