Discipline of UC System Faculty Revealed in Hundreds of Sexual Misconduct Cases
Some disciplinary measures are being criticized for putting students in a hostile or unsafe environment.
The University of California system released the sexual misconduct files of more than 100 cases involving faculty and staff members across nine of its campuses last week.
The previously-confidential files reveal a troubling pattern of inconsistent punishment for faculty members found to have violated sexual misconduct policies in the UC system, reports the Associated Press.
The documents relating to 112 cases were released with heavy redactions after several news organizations filed public records requests last year. They offer insight into the way nine of the campuses in one of the largest university systems in the country have responded to sexual misconduct allegations.
Investigations involving faculty members accounted for a quarter of all cases where a staff member was found to have violated sexual misconduct policies.
The AP was able to verify 21 of those cases. Key findings from those include:
- Six faculty members resigned or retired before investigations were complete and punishments were decided or as part of a settlement with the school
- In several instances, rumors spread around campus about the accused for years before the university took action
- Two faculty members were fired and one instructor’s contract was not renewed as a result of sexual misconduct allegations
- Two faculty members agreed to forgo pay increases and one took a 10 percent pay cut after sexual assault allegations
The cases were handled between January 2013 and April of 2016.
They are similar to instances at UC Berkeley that have caused controversy and led many to criticize the campus for lax punishments.
The files also contained details about alleged sexual misconduct among other employees in the UC system, but the AP did not analyze those cases.
Since the scandal at UC Berkeley, the UC system has taken several steps to improve its policies for investigating and disciplining faculty members in sexual misconduct cases. For one, a system-wide Title IX coordinator was hired.
Students and employees are also now required to receive sexual assault training and a peer review committee will determine sanctions for senior faculty members.
The university declined to comment on specific cases.
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