TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, April 17, 2016

UC-Berkeley Provost Resigns Amid Controversy Over His Handling Of Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Law School Dean

UC-Berkeley (University)Following up on my previous posts (links below): New York Times, Provost Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Case at Berkeley:

The University of California, Berkeley, announced Friday that Claude Steele, the university’s executive vice chancellor and provost for the past two years, resigned his administrative positions for personal reasons. Mr. Steele’s abrupt departure comes at a time of turmoil for the university, as he and other top administrators have been criticized for their handling of a widening sexual harassment scandal. ...

Mr. Steele has been criticized for his handling of claims of sexual harassment made against the dean of the law school, Sujit Choudhry. ... A report by the university found that Mr. Choudhry had repeatedly hugged and kissed his executive assistant, behavior that an investigator concluded was “unwelcome and objectively sexual in nature.”

Mr. Steele allowed Mr. Choudhry to stay on as the dean, but ordered a one-year cut in his salary and required that he undergo counseling and write a letter of apology to his assistant, who was told to look for work elsewhere at the university.

Alumni and students expressed outrage at the terms of the punishment, which became public in March when Mr. Choudhry’s assistant, Tyann Sorrell, filed a civil suit. Prominent alumni of the law school called the punishment “feeble.”

Court papers filed with the lawsuit say that when Ms. Sorrell questioned why university officials had not taken stronger action against Mr. Choudhry, Mr. Steele told her that he had decided against termination because it “would ruin the dean’s career, that is, destroy his future chances for higher appointment.”

Mr. Choudhry has since resigned.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/04/uc-berkeley-provost-resigns-amid-controversy-over-his-handling-of-sexual-harassment-complaint-agains.html

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Comments

Is this really justified or is it more of a feeding frenzy?

Posted by: mike livingston | Apr 17, 2016 3:45:29 AM