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After String of Incidents, Berkeley Announces Changes to Fight Sexual Misconduct

The University of California at Berkeley has unveiled a slew of new initiatives to combat sexual misconduct on its campus, in response to a string of high-profile harassment cases.

In a message to the campus, the university’s chancellor, Nicholas B. Dirks, laid out the new measures. Among them:

  • More programs aimed at preventing harassment, including more training, a half-day campus event during the early fall, and experiential-learning programs.
  • A faster response to complaints.
  • A review of the campus’s disciplinary procedures for sexual misconduct.
  • A new position charged with overseeing the campus’s efforts.

In just the last month, two harassment controversies have rocked the university. Two weeks ago, the dean of the university’s law school, Sujit Choudhry, resigned from the post after it was revealed that his former executive assistant had sued him for harassment. In that case, the administration was criticized for penalizing Mr. Choudhry only by docking his pay by 10 percent and ordering that he write a letter of apology.

Just days later, an assistant basketball coach, Yann Hufnagel, was fired after it was revealed that he had been accused of harassing a female reporter.

Those incidents followed the furor over the astronomer Geoffrey W. Marcy, who resigned in the fall after being confronted with allegations that he repeatedly harassed students over several years.

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