The University of California, Berkeley, agreed to let a former law school dean accused of sexual harassment remain on the faculty on sabbatical through May 2018, the Associated Press reported. Under the agreement, announced Friday, the university will withdraw all disciplinary complaints against Sujit Choudhry and allow him to resign next year with access to more than $100,000 in research and travel funds through that time. The agreement includes a "no admissions" clause, saying that neither Choudhry nor the university's Board of Regents admit to wrongdoing in the case.
Choudhry’s former executive assistant, Tyann Sorrell, who accused him of kissing and hugging her without her consent, said in a statement Saturday that the deal “insults all who suffer harassment at the hands of those with power and privilege.” Choudhry will donate $50,000 to nonprofit organizations of Sorrell's choice under the agreement, and he’ll also pay $50,000 of her legal fees.
Berkeley previously substantiated Sorrell’s allegations and gave Choudhry a 10 percent pay cut, and he resigned as dean and stopped teaching but remained a professor, according to the Associated Press. Sorrell sued the university over the harassment last year. Her attorney, Leslie F. Levy, said Saturday that the new agreement is “just one more example of [the university] refusing to take sexual harassment seriously and once again offering a soft landing even after a finding of harassment.”
Choudhry also sued the university over the case, alleging racial discrimination based on the fact that he is South Asian. He accused the university of opening a second investigation of him for the same conduct after Sorrell filed her lawsuit and reports it had mishandled other cases of sexual misconduct. He has since dropped the suit.