On the recommendation of UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive, the University of California Regents resolved to dismiss Gopal Balakrishnan on Sept. 24.
The decision came after a Title IX investigation found the formerly tenured history of consciousness professor violated the 2015 UC Policy on Sexual Harassment and the Faculty Code of Conduct.
In an Aug. 15 letter to Balakrishnan, Larive concurred with a July 18 hearing report from the Committee on Privilege and Tenure which found Balakrishnan’s behavior constituted not only sexual harassment, but also sexual assault and attempted rape.
“It is my determination that [REDACTED] your egregious behavior in the complaint on its own, warrants the serious sanctions being recommended,” Larive said in her letter. “Taken separately or together your conduct in these cases warrants the imposition of dismissal from the employ of the University and denial of Emeritus status.”
Larive also imposed the disciplinary sanction of suspension without pay effective until dismissal or for 20 years.
In November 2017 seven anonymous statements were posted on Facebook detailing allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Balakrishnan.
Title IX opened its investigation in February 2018 after UCSC alumna Anneliese Harlander reported allegations of sexual misconduct against Balakrishnan in January of that year. The investigation concluded on Sept. 18, 2018. Balakrishnan remained on paid leave until Larive’s sanction in August.
UCSC Public Affairs released a statement on Sept. 24 thanking everyone who reported their experiences to Title IX and participated in the adjudication process.
“The misconduct, confirmed through our investigation and adjudication process, harmed the complainants,” the statement said, “and that trauma rippled through our campus and university system undermining our ability to carry out the mission and central functions of the university.”