More Berkeley Professors Shown To Have Violated Sexual Misconduct Policy

New documents revealed sexual misconduct at the university involving twelve staff members.
Geri Lavrov via Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The University of California Berkeley released new records that revealed 12 staff members violated the school's sexual misconduct policy over the past five years, bringing the number of employees involved in such cases over that time period to 19.

The fresh revelations come as the university still reels from harassment claims that surfaced in recent weeks against the dean of the law school and an assistant basketball coach, as well as an earlier claim against a high-profile astronomy professor.

"We have been quite explicit in our acknowledgement that we must do a better job and we must improve our policies, practices, and cultures," university spokesman Dan Mogulof said on Wednesday.

Mogulof said the school has taken steps to address the problems, including providing more resources to the office that investigates claims of sexual misconduct.

The newly reported cases, which date back to January 2011, were obtained on Tuesday by local media outlets including the Bay Area News Group under Freedom of Information Act requests.

The new documents revealed sexual misconduct at the university involving twelve staff members, including two who were faculty.

Three faculty members were previously named, including Sujit Choudhry, who resigned as Berkeley Law School dean last month, and astronomy professor Geoff Marcy who resigned last October.

Marcy left in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from several former students. At the time, the New York Times reported that he posted an apology on his website in which he disagreed with some specifics of the complaints.

Choudhry admitted to touching his executive assistant in a way officials said violated the school's policy around unwelcome sexual conduct. Choudhry denied the touching amounted to sexual harassment.

The university also recently announced it was dismissing assistant men's basketball coach Yann Hufnagel, saying his behavior and communications in 2014 and 2015 with a female reporter unaffiliated with the school violated its sexual misconduct rules.

Hufnagel said in a post on Twitter that he would exonerate himself.

A spreadsheet provided by the university of all the reported sexual misconduct cases showed seven involved victims who were students or former students at Berkeley at the time, while the remaining 10 cases involved other staff members or someone not affiliated with the school.

Two of the cases involved two staff members, bringing the total number implicated to 19.

University of California President Janet Napolitano, who launched a systemwide task force to deal with sexual harassment and violence on campus in 2014, could not be immediately reached for comment.

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