The gentle treatment the university gave star faculty who violated the sexual harassment policy by at times groping, kissing or touching students and employees speaks to a culture of tolerance for the bad behavior. The announcement came as Sujit Choudhry stepped down as dean of the top-ranked Berkeley School of Law eight months after a campus investigation found he had violated the sexual harassment policy — but only two days after his former assistant sued him and the matter became public. […] his pay had been temporarily cut by 10 percent, from $415,000 to $373,500, and he was instructed to write a letter of apology to his assistant. In June, campus investigators concluded that astronomy Professor Geoffrey Marcy, among the world’s most famous planet hunters, had violated the sexual harassment policy — massaging, kissing and groping at least four women, including students — between 2001 and 2010. In 2011, campus investigators found that Assistant Vice Chancellor Diane Leite violated sexual harassment policies when she more than doubled the salary of a man who worked for her and with whom she had a private relationship. Haley Broder, a senior majoring in American studies, served on Berkeley’s “Climate on Sexual Assault” panel last year that recommended better ways of helping victims. While Broder said that much has improved for students reporting sexual assault — they are taken more seriously and better assisted than when she was a freshman — she suggested that employees are not always offered the same consideration. Firing a tenured professor requires a lengthy disciplinary hearing involving witnesses, the Academic Senate and the UC regents to affirm the outcome. When Sorrell’s lawsuit became public last week, faculty and students came to Sorrell’s defense, speaking out at meetings and delivering written rebukes to the administration. All of the incidents that have become public have prompted outcries from angry colleagues, students and others on social media, in the press, and on campus calling for campus officials to discipline offenders more strongly and swiftly. The Marcy incident prompted Napolitano to form a committee to figure out how to improve investigation, judgment and discipline of faculty accused of sexual harassment. While faculty generally defend tenure as a way to protect against unfair complaints — and many oppose forcing employees to take eye-glazing online sexual harassment trainings more often — they largely agree that more can be done to protect against harassment and punish abusers. Enabling at High Levels, Michael O’Hare, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, called “mealy-mouthed” the joint statement by Dirks and Steele, and said the repeated tolerance of sexual harassment amounts to “a pattern of malpractice” that “might as well be an open letter to women on campus telling them (that) if powerful people around her mistreat you, we will protect them and punish you if you complain.”

Source: UC Berkeley has history of tolerating sexual harassment – San Francisco Chronicle