Sujit Choudhry, an Indian-American professor at University of California, Berkeley, who was disciplined for violating the university’s sexual harassment policies has lashed out at a new review of his behavior, calling it an unjust attack on his legal and academic rights.
Sujit Choudhry, who resigned as dean last month but remains on the faculty, has asked the disciplinary committee of Berkeley’s Academic Senate to drop the second review, according to documents released by his attorneys Monday. Depending on the findings, Choudhry’s tenure and continued employment at Berkeley could be in jeopardy.
This Sept. 5, Sujit Choudhry, former dean of the law school at Berkeley, sent another grievance letter to the university faculty committee, which decided to launch a second investigation into his conduct earlier this year after his former executive assistant Tyann Sorrell filed the lawsuit in March this year.
In his Sept. 5 letter, Choudhry decried the second investigation saying it violeted his right to free and equitable treatment, the Dailycal.org news outlet reported quoting from the letter. “The disciplinary proceedings against him (Choudhry) concluded in 2015 with agreed upon punishment which he accepted,” Choudhry’s attorney William Taylor, told News India Times. At that time Choudhry apologized profusely and accepted sanctions the university proposed, Taylor said. The second investigation “is a grotesque violation of his rights” and a violation of the agreement reached, Taylor added.
In a university investigation last year, Choudhry admitted he repeatedly hugged, touched and gave kisses on the cheek to his former executive assistant from September 2014 to March 2015. Then-Provost Claude Steele, in consultation with Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and others, privately ordered the law school dean to take a 10% pay cut, undergo behavioral training and apologize to the assistant, Tyann Sorrell.
But University of California President Janet Napolitano intervened in the case after it came to light in a civil lawsuitfiled by Sorrell last month. In a March 11 letter to Dirks, Napolitano ordered that disciplinary proceedings be launched in the Academic Senate.