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Minor Punishment Against Sexual Harassment Eventually Forces Berkeley UC Provost To Resign

Apr 19, 2016 / Media Coverage / Lawyer Herald — Staff Reporter

Claude Steele, executive vice chancellor and provost in The University of California (UC) in Berkeley has announced resignation from his administrative positions on Friday. He has held the administrative positions for the last two years and cited personal grounds as reason behind his resignation.

The resignation appears during a turbulent period following criticisms against him and other top administrators of UC in handling a widening sexual harassment scandal. An interim successor for Mr. Steele will be named shortly, reports The New York Times, quoting Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the university.

Mr. Steele has expressed his inability affording time for his administrative roles citing his wife's ongoing health challenges. He has also expressed keenness for sharing moments with his family cutting all other involvements.

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UC Berkeley is now passing through turmoil following publishing a 500-page report by the administration of sexual harassment within the campus. The school administration has also announced plans rolling out new initiative to end sexual harassment on campus.

Mr. Steele has been criticized during the recent months for his light handed approach in disciplining employees while violating the school's sexual harassment policy. In particular, they have questioned his role against the dean of the law school, Sujit Choudhry, who has been alleged for sexually harassing his assistant.

Instead of removing Choudhry from the post, Steele has accepted his apology while ordering for a small cut from the salary. At the same, the victim, as well as plaintiff, has been advised to search for a job elsewhere in the university.

However, Choudhry has been compelled to resign following filing of lawsuit against him. Defamed Choudhry still remains in the UC's payroll due to its tenure policy, reports Newsweek.

Mr. Steele has decided against Choudhry's termination since that will destroy his future chances for higher appointment, cites the lawsuit, quoting Tyann Sorrell, Choudhry's assistant. Ms. Sorrell also informs the court that she has come to know the Provost's views upon questioning over Choudhry's termination.

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Dean of the law school, Sujit Choudhry, in the University of California has been accused of sexual harassment to his assistant. Upon complaint, provost and executive vice chancellor for the university, Claude Steele, has declined to terminate Choudhry and handed token punishment instead. The victim filed a lawsuit has compelled Choudhry to resign, while Mr. Steele has followed the trait upon criticism.

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