Sexual Misconduct Among Faculty, Staff Widespread According To Newly Released UC Docs

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The University of California said it investigated 113 cases of sexual misconduct involving staff and faculty at its 10 campuses over a recent three-year period, according to hundreds of pages of internal documents released Tuesday.

The information was released to The Associated Press and other news organizations following a public records request made amid a string of high-profile cases at UC Berkeley last year.

Many details and personal information in the documents are redacted but the records give an overview of how many sexual harassment cases were investigated system-wide at the University of California in recent years.

The 113 cases occurred between January 2013 to April 6, 2016 and include allegations that range from inappropriate conduct to sexual assault, according to a summary from the office of UC President Janet Napolitano. All 113 cases involve employees found to have violated the University’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policy.

UC San Francisco had the most cases, 26. UCLA had 25. UC Riverside had eight cases and UC Irvine had the lowest number, two. Nearly a quarter of all employees disciplined were faculty members.

About 58 percent of the cases came from complaints by staff members, while 35 percent were from student complaints. The rest were unknown or anonymous.

It said 7 percent of the cases involved sexual assault, “including the touching of intimate body parts.”

UCLA graduate student Kristen Glasgow filed a federal lawsuit against UC regents for failing to take sufficient action against a history professor she accused of repeated sexual harassment.

“I feel that everybody I turned to let me down,” Glasgow told CBS2 Wednesday.

The professor was fined and suspended without pay before he returned to UCLA to teach earlier this year, sparking student protests.

“What does a sexually harassed graduate student have to do?” Glasgow asked.

In a statement, UCLA said all its cases were investigated under old policies, adding that in the past two years, it has taken drastic steps to improve the way it handles sexual misconduct.

“The university has moved decisively to implement system wide changes, first by forming an inclusive task force that identified specific improvements to the university’s sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention and response efforts.

“Results of this effort include a new system wide policy, enhanced confidential support for complainant and resources for respondents, new adjudication protocols, and mandatory training for faculty, staff and students.”

The summary also said that approximately two-thirds of the people accused of misconduct no longer work for the University of California. Many students are still concerned since about the approximately one-third of those who violated policy and are still employed by the UC system.

“I feel like they aren’t putting any importance on the matter at all,” UCLA student Jacqueline Gutierrez said.

“We need to be aware of the figures to know how to better prepare ourselves and do better on preventing these problems,” UCLA student Brittany Meyer said.

Berkeley has faced intense criticism and scrutiny for what student groups and victims rights groups called lax discipline for senior faculty involved in sexual misconduct cases.

In one case, Sujit Choudhry, the former dean of the law school, received only a temporary pay cut and orders to undergo counseling as punishment following a 2015 investigation substantiated claims that he repeatedly kissed and touched a subordinate.

Berkeley also faced criticism for several other sexual harassment cases, including one involving the campus’ vice chancellor for research and a prominent astronomer who were initially were allowed to keep their jobs but ended up resigning under pressure, as did Choudhry.

In response to the cases, Napolitano has moved to strengthen campus procedures for investigating and disciplining faulty members in sexual harassment cases, said UC spokeswoman Claire Doan.

Napolitano has put in place mandatory sexual assault training for students and employees and created a system-wide peer review committee to evaluate proposed sanctions for senior university leaders and faculty found guilty of misconduct. Previously, it was up to individual campuses to impose sanctions on their own officials.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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