IRVINE (CBSLA) – A professor at the University of California, Irvine, received a police escort to campus Tuesday after publicly claiming she was harassed by a fellow colleague as retaliation for coming forward with sexual harassment claims against a third professor earlier this year.
Dr. Kathleen Treseder, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, alleges that she has been subject to harassment from Dr. Rich Symanski, a senior lecturer in the same department.
On Monday morning, Treseder tweeted that Symanski had sent her a copy of his memoir, “Bad Boy Geographer.”
In the tweet, Treseder included a photo of the letter, dated Oct. 31, which accompanied the memoir. In the letter, Symanski made reference to the fact that Treseder was one of four women who publicly came forward to claim they had been sexually harassed by renowned UCI geneticist Dr. Francisco J. Ayala.
Ayala resigned in June following a university investigation. Both the UCI School of Biological Sciences and the Science Library bore his name, which was removed from both buildings.
Symanski had also reportedly highlighted portions of his memoir, including one which made reference to an unpublished novel he wrote in the 1980s called “The Peanut Shell Murders,” about a mass killing of academics.
On Sunday, Treseder took to Twitter to complain that university officials were not protecting her.
“Chancellor (Howard) Gillman… how is this not retaliation?” she tweeted on Sunday. “Sexual harassment? Why is UCI protecting him and his preferences by over my safety? Why do you value this guy over me?”
The UCI School of Biological Sciences issued a statement Monday afternoon saying it “intervened immediately as soon as we became aware of professor Treseder’s concerns. We have been working closely with all involved parties to reach a resolution for several weeks.”
The school said it “arranged for a police escort this morning and contracted our private security services beyond today.”
Symanski will not teach at UCI in the winter quarter, the school also reported. In his letter to Treseder, Symanski wrote he was planning to retire on March 1, 2019, and that the winter term would be his last.
In an email to City News Service, Symanski claimed he was in the Philippines and said he was unaware of Treseder’s tweets. He acknowledged that he sent her a copy of his memoir “in which I devote more than 10,000 words to a bogus sexual harassment charge against me in 1995.”
Symanski added he gave the book to Treseder “to show her that there is another side to these charges where men get falsely accused.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)