UC Berkeley vice chancellor for research resigns after sexual harassment allegations arise

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UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming has resigned after allegations arose that he sexually harassed a former campus employee.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks informed faculty and campus leadership in research of the resignation Thursday evening, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof. Fleming resigned for what he described as personal reasons and will end his term April 20.

Mogulof said he did not have further comment on Fleming’s reasons for resigning. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fleming was accused last year by former assistant vice chancellor for research enterprise services Diane Leite of violating the university’s anti-sexual harassment policies by allegedly inappropriately touching her and sending overly affectionate emails.

The Chronicle reported that the UC Office of the President investigated the allegations and found evidence that Fleming’s behavior may have been inappropriate. In a letter to the chancellor, Fleming criticized the investigation, according to the Chronicle. A public relations consultant working with his lawyer also told the Chronicle that Fleming denies the allegations.

Fleming joined the campus in 1997 as a chemistry professor. His achievements include helping propose and plan the construction of Stanley Hall and contributing to more than 400 publications. Before serving as vice chancellor of research, he served as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s deputy director from 2005 to 2007.

As vice chancellor for research, he was responsible for leadership in policy, planning and administration related to campus research.

Leite was fired in 2012 for allegedly violating the university’s sexual harassment policies when she increased the salary of an employee with whom she was having a sexual relationship. Before being fired, Leite was notified by Fleming that she would be demoted and have her pay docked from $188,531 to $175,000.

Melissa Wen is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @melissalwen.