A series of sexual harassment cases at the University of California, Berkeley has resulted in the firing of several employees. Most recently, an assistant professor of South and Southeast Asian studies was dismissed following an investigation revealing his violation of the university’s faculty code of conduct and sexual violence and harassment policy. The university, known for positive social activism, is now unfortunately developing an entirely different reputation as a site for sexual harassment scandals.
Last year, four students filed complaints against the Asian studies professor alleging sexual misconduct and he was relieved of his teaching duties by the university’s Chancellor pending the outcome of the investigation. The investigation found evidence of sexual misconduct and unacceptable breaches of the student-teacher relationship. UC Berkeley officials report that the professor has now consequently been dismissed.
In the last three years, the university has investigated 113 cases of sexual misconduct, according to the office of the UC Berkeley President, one of which involved sexual assault of a subordinate by the dean of the law school. The university has come under public scrutiny for its laissez faire approach to discipline in these cases. For example, even though the dean of the law school eventually voluntarily resigned from his position, he received only a temporary pay cut and mandatory counseling as punishment for his sexual misconduct. The university also received backlash from students as well as faculty when a prominent astronomer was allowed to keep his job despite having violated the university’s sexual harassment policies.
The University’s Response
In response to this criticism, and in an effort to strengthen sexual harassment prevention and response, a special faculty adviser on sexual violence and harassment has been appointed to a three-year term. The new special faculty adviser will work closely with the university’s Title IX officer and other campus leaders to implement prevention initiatives, coordinate working groups, and provide educational training. The university intends to strengthen procedures for investigation and discipline of faculty members, according to a UC Berkeley spokeswoman. The UC Berkeley Office of Public Affairs stated that the university is taking actions to eradicate sexual misconduct from the campus and to hold violators strictly accountable.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Campus Sexual Harassment
The incidents of sexual harassment at UC Berkeley are not isolated. Nationwide, students experience campus sexual harassment or sexual assault. Institutions of higher learning should be committed to creating an environment that is free from sexual harassment and violence. If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual misconduct while attending a college or university, your matter should be taken seriously and you may be entitled to compensation.
The experienced Middletown sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. provide experienced legal counsel to clients throughout Marlton, Red Bank, Middletown, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online to schedule a free consultation today.