Records show at least eight UCSD sexual harassment cases upheld since 2012

Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 21:58:09-05
SAN DIEGO - University of California officials upheld at least eight sexual harassment cases against employees of its San Diego campus that occurred between 2012 and 2015, according to records made available to City News Service Wednesday.
The cases were among 113 investigations that took place during the period across the 10-campus UC system.
The release came following a public records request by several news organizations after a series of high-profile sexual harassment incidents at UC Berkeley.
System wide, three-quarters of the cases involved complaints made against university staff, with faculty making up the remainder. Over half the complaints were made by staff, and 35 percent were made by students.
It doesn't appear that students were victims in any of the UC San Diego cases. At least four UCSD employees were recommended for firing as a result of investigations, though exact figures and final dispositions were difficult to discern because many details were redacted in the documents.
According to the records, offenders at UCSD included a custodian who exposed himself to a female co-worker and repeatedly texted her photographs; an MRI technologist accused of creating a "sexually hostile environment" for female co-workers despite being investigated for three previous harassment incidents; and a nonprofit administrator accused of verbally and sexually harassing his female employees over a period of several years -- and who had also been previously investigated.
Two of those who were recommended for firing were women accused of creating a profane and inappropriately sexualized work environment in the UCSD Medical Center Patient Access/Admissions Department, and retaliating against employees who cooperated with investigators.
One directed the department and the other was the assistant director, according to the documents.
A report by Elena Acevedo Dalcourt, a UCSD complaint resolution officer, cited witnesses as contending that "excessive profanity, and inappropriate and sexualized incidents occur regularly."
The director denied the claims, but conceded to engaging in "girl talk" or "shop talk," according to the report.
Employees also reported that the woman twice took off her bra and placed it on the computer keyboard of male employees in order to get their attention. One witness said she once saw the assistant helping the director put her bra back on, according to the report.
Department workers said they felt like they were stepping "aboard a ship of sailors" when they came to work because there were sexual comments or stories told at every meeting, Acevedo Dalcourt wrote.
At least three employees alleged that their work situations deteriorated after they participated in an investigation of the managers.
Not all of the accused were recommended for firing. One was given a written warning and is no longer employed by the school, while others were suspended or demoted.
While UCSD officials provided the documents, they did not respond to a subsequent request for comment.
Dan Scannell, the system's Public Records Act coordinator, included a four-page statement that said the University of California reviewed its sexual harassment policy in 2014 and adopted a new one last year. He noted that UC employs a workforce of around 250,000.
He said records involving ongoing investigations were withheld, while others that involved certain privacy concerns were withheld or redacted. It was unclear whether any withheld records involved UCSD.