UC Regent Norman Pattiz: ‘I’m not going to resign’

Sakura Cannestra/Staff

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UC Regent Norman Pattiz said in an interview with The Daily Californian that he has no intention of leaving the UC Board of Regents.

UC students took to public comment at Wednesday’s UC regents meeting to demand Pattiz’s resignation from the board. In fall 2016, a recording surfaced of Pattiz asking a female colleague whether he could hold her breasts. A recent lawsuit against Pattiz also alleges that he brandished a loaded firearm against a former employee after the employee refused to use false data.

“I’ve been around for 15 years. I’ve seen students protest everything and anything. I never thought it would be me,” Pattiz told the Daily Cal after the regents meeting. “I’m not going to resign.”

Four representatives of the Associated Students of the University of California, including senators Rizza Estacio and Nuha Khalfay, gave speeches during public comment calling for Pattiz’s removal from the board. After public comment, about 20 students continued to protest outside the UCSF Mission Bay campus, the site of the regents meeting, while holding posters.

Since the recording of Pattiz surfaced in 2016, the ASUC and the UC Student Association have both passed resolutions calling for his resignation.

“We talk about not tolerating this sort of behavior from men in Hollywood and even from our current president, so why should we tolerate it from a regent?” said Kylie Murdock, a staff member in the ASUC External Affairs Vice President’s office, during public comment.

Pattiz, however, denied that the comments made in the 2016 recording were sexual harassment, referring to them as a “bad joke.” He said he believes the recording was released to intentionally create controversy.

Pattiz confirmed that he has undergone the sexual harassment prevention training that was made mandatory for all regents at a board meeting last fall, after the recording of Pattiz surfaced.

“To try and paint me as someone who has a history of harassment and things of that sort is just absolutely inaccurate,” Pattiz said.

Khalfay said, however, that UC students will protest Pattiz’s seat on the board at every UC regents meeting until he is removed.

“We urge you … to show us in a tangible way that you really do support and prioritize (the) survivors, women and students that you are appointed to represent,” Khalfay said to the board during public comment.

Sakura Cannestra covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.

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  • “In fall 2016, a recording surfaced of Pattiz asking a female colleague whether he could hold her breasts.”

    So he asked for consent?

    SJWs are impossible to please. Just once I’d like to hear an example of a sexual encounter which is NOT abuse or harassment.

    • Meghna S.

      It’s not accurate to portray the situation in that way and say he was asking for consent, as if they had any kind of romantic or sexual relationship. She was his colleague, and it’s nowhere near appropriate to say something like that to colleagues.

      He was the CEO of Podcast One and she hosted a segment on it. In the middle of her recording an ad for a memory foam bra, and then asked her “Wait a minute — can I hold your breasts? Would that help?” She repeatedly said no and then he mentioned that his hands were basically memory foam.

      Yes, he was joking and most likely did not mean it in a way to hurt her. However, I would argue that this says something about how he acts in a position of power (in this case, CEO)- he displayed no empathy (hearing something like that is obviously extremely uncomfortable/pretty disgusting) or professionalism towards a female colleague. Saying something like that in a professional environment is really disrespectful, and the fact that he obviously didn’t realize he was being disrespectful could be indicative of a lot of things.

      The reason people want him to resign is not as simple as “he’s a bad person,” because that’s a generalization and people are far too nuanced to be judged under moral absolutism. In all other aspects, he might be a good person. But the reason his role as regent is even under consideration is that comments like his are a valid reason to question his ability to maintain respect for those who work under him (esp women).

      I understand that you seem have strong feelings about sexual harassment allegations, perhaps intensified by the fact that people sometimes treat these kinds of allegations as definite truth, regardless of whether they have evidence. However, given your comments and reference to a vague, out of context nytimes article, it seems like you didn’t actually look up this event and just used it as a platform to voice your general opinion. I hope you (and others) will consider these allegations and associated audio evidence on their own and avoid letting preconceived beliefs affect your judgment.

      I wonder what further developments will occur. Maybe more evidence will be released mitigating the situation: ie) he did apologize for it before these allegations were made and mentioned he would use it as a learning experience. The point is that it’s important to have all the available information before make inferences from it, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the majority. This goes for both sides of any argument- I know people who protested demanding his Pattiz’s resignation without even knowing the comment he actually made and its context. As of now, I’m interested in hearing what Pattiz says about the other recordings and compounding allegations against him that have been released.