Students of Nezar AlSayyad, a UC Berkeley architecture professor found to have violated UC sexual misconduct policy, will now have the option to complete the remainder of one of his courses under a new instructor, according to an email announcement Wednesday to students of the course.
Since the investigation findings were first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, students in the campus’s College of Environmental Design have published a list of demands and protested in front of Wurster Hall, where AlSayyad teaches. An alternative for completing City Planning 200, a required course, was one of students’ demands in their letter to campus administration.
“We have heard your concerns about the completion of the course and of the semester,” said Teresa Caldeira, chair of the department of city and regional planning, in the email. “We have decided to set up an alternative section for the course.”
The alternate instructor of record will receive previously assigned grades and materials from AlSayyad but will write and grade the final exam as well as read final papers from doctoral students, according to the email. Caldeira said in the email she will assign GSIs accordingly when she knows the respective sizes of the two City Planning 200 sections.
The campus investigation concluded last month that he had sexually harassed a graduate student, and the Chronicle reported he has allegedly harassed at least two other students.
In addition to City Planning 200, AlSayyad also co-teaches Architecture 100C, a class for undergraduates.
Students have not had a section of the class, which meets Thursdays, since the investigation findings were announced. They will learn the name of the new instructor and information about applying to the newly created section of the course at a later date, according to Caldeira.
An email to the Daily Californian from Larry Kamer, AlSayyad’s spokesperson, stated that AlSayyad has not been formally charged and the Title IX report obtained by the SF Chronicle should be “viewed skeptically.”
“UC Berkeley’s preemptive action about Prof. AlSayyad’s teaching violates his due process rights as defined by the Academic Personnel Manual,” Kamer said in the email. “Prof. AlSayyad awaits the start of the Privilege and Tenure Committee process that he believes will allow him to defend himself more effectively than he has been allowed thus far.”
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