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.