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Monday, September 5, 2016

Despite UC President Napolitano’s Previous Ban, Former UC-Berkeley Law Dean Still On Campus

UC Berkeley (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Daily Californian, Despite Napolitano’s Previous Ban, Former Berkeley Law Dean Still on Campus:

Former UC Berkeley School of Law dean Sujit Choudhry will be on campus this semester working in his office, according to an email sent Thursday by interim Berkeley Law dean Melissa Murray to law faculty, staff and students.

Earlier this year, UC President Janet Napolitano asked Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to ban Choudhry from campus for the remainder of the spring semester after a former employee sued him for sexual harassment.According to Choudhry’s lawyer William Taylor, however, the ban was never implemented by Dirks, and Choudhry retained access to campus for that time.

While Choudhry is now a tenured professor at the school, he is not scheduled to teach classes this academic year, Murray stated in her email. Taylor said that as a fully employed faculty member, Choudhry — like any other law professor — should be allowed to research, write and consult at his place of employment.

“Faculty members’ campus access rights are determined by confidential Central Campus processes,” Murray said in the email obtained by The Daily Californian.

In light of news of the lawsuit against Choudhry in March, Napolitanolaunched a new review of his actions that could strip him of his professorship. Choudhry currently faces a faculty investigation into whether there is probable cause for filing charges that he violated the Faculty Code of Conduct.

“The Procedures do not provide for automatic exclusion from campus of accused faculty while the process is pending,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email.

Former Dean Choudhry earned $472,917 in 2014.

Update:  San Francisco Chronicle, Sujit Choudhry, Ex-UC Berkeley Law Dean, Returns From Absence:

Former UC Berkeley Law School Dean Sujit Choudhry, who resigned in the spring amid sexual harassment allegations, returned to campus last week after a six-month absence, drawing student ire and concerns about his presence and future role at the university.

Choudhry has stayed away from his office in Boalt Hall since March, after his suspension and resignation in the wake of a lawsuit filed by his former assistant.

At the time, UC President Janet Napolitano reportedly requested that Choudhry be barred from the campus for the rest of the term and as his case proceeds through a faculty investigation into possible code of conduct violations.

Whether Choudhry was officially barred or chose to say away was unclear. UC Berkeley officials would say only that university procedures “do not provide for automatic exclusion from campus of accused faculty while the process is pending.”

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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So the President said "ban" him (on what basis we do not know) and the Chancellor refused to implement any ban (assuming he had the power to do that) and now the Chancellor is out. Hmm. Sounds like a pretty deep seated governance crisis at UC. I think Napolitano is likely the next to go.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 6, 2016 10:53:39 PM

Punishing an accused professor before his case has gone through the usual procedures would violate his contract. You'd think law students would realize that. Napolitano probably doesn't know much about law and less about justice. Being a dean is probably employment-at-will, but he's a tenured professor too.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Sep 11, 2016 3:41:49 PM