Berkeley provost resigns after criticism over his handling of a sexual harassment case

Claude Steele BerkeleyYoutube/ UC Berkeley EventsClaude Steele resigned on Friday.

A high-ranking administrator at the University of California, Berkeley resigned on Friday after he was criticised over his handling of a sexual harassment complaint on campus, according to The New York Daily News.

Claude Steele, Berkeley’s provost and executive vice chancellor, released a statement saying that he was stepping down because of his wife’s “significant” health problems, according to The New York Times.

Steele has endured criticism over his handling of sexual harassment claims made against the former dean of Berkeley’s law school, Sujit Choudhry, according to The Times.

Choudhry resigned from his post as the dean after his executive assistant filed a lawsuit saying that Choudhry had “hugged, kissed, and massaged,” her regularly, reports Business Insider’s Dan Turkel.

Steele initially punished Choudhry with a temporary pay cut and a counseling session, stirring up outrage among current and former students by allowing him to stay on as dean.

Though Steele is stepping down from his position as provost and executive vice chancellor, he will return as a faculty member in the psychology department, per The New York Daily News.

Steele’s resignation comes on the heels of another sexual harassment complaint at Berkeley. Last week, the Guardian reported that a professor there named Blake Wentworth was found to have violated the school’s policies by making “unwelcome sexual advances” toward a graduate student.

Furthermore, 19 employees, including six faculty members, were found to have violated Berkeley’s sexual harassment policy since 2011, according to USA Today.

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