For nearly a year after he resigned from his position as vice chancellor for research amid sexual harassment allegations, Graham Fleming continued to receive his executive salary, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fleming resigned in April 2015 after an investigation by the UC Office of the President found him “more likely than not” to have violated UC sexual harassment policy. Fleming contested the allegations and claimed that he was not properly afforded due process during the investigation, according to his spokesperson, Sam Singer.
Days later, more than 100 faculty members signed a letter to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks expressing concern that due process wasn’t followed during the investigation. Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said at the time, Fleming had the opportunity to respond to the allegations before the investigation was complete.
“The allegations of sex harassment by the university were false. There is no due process that exists at the university to appeal the wrong findings,” Singer alleged. “(Fleming) resigned under protest as vice chancellor.”
UC policy stipulates that as soon as administrators’ time as executives ends, they are entitled to a year of transition leave to facilitate their return to academia, meaning that they retain executive salaries despite no longer holding executive positions. According to Mogulof, Fleming made $343,000 per year in his administrative role, roughly $96,000 per year more than he would make in his position as a tenured faculty member.
Some faculty members expressed discontent that the policy allowed somebody who had been found “more likely than not” to be in violation of UC sexual harassment policy to continue receiving an administrative salary.
“If you have been found guilty of sex harassment, it shouldn’t be rewarded by a year’s salary,” said Leslie Salzinger, the secretary of the UC Berkeley Faculty Association and an associate professor in the department of gender and women’s studies. She added that “if (campus officials) followed the rules, then the rules are a problem.”
In 2014, UCOP began an investigation after Diane Leite, former assistant vice chancellor for research enterprise services, claimed Fleming had inappropriately touched her and sent her affectionate emails, breaching UC sexual harassment policies.
Fleming’s transition leave ended in March, a month before the time allotted by UC policy expired.
“The chancellor felt it was appropriate to end the leave at that time,” Mogulof said, declining to comment further.
In March 2016, amid an alleged sexual harassment scandal involving former Boalt School of Law dean Sujit Choudhry, UC President Janet Napolitano wrote Dirks a letter demanding he remove Fleming from his position as Berkeley Global Campus ambassador.
Fleming has remained on campus as a member of the faculty and will teach two graduate student seminars for the college of chemistry during the fall semester. According to Singer, there has been no movement to strip him of tenure or remove him from his faculty position.