UC Berkeley Chancellor Found Guilty Of Unauthorized Use Of School ResourcesBy Emily Marks
University of California - Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks has been found guilty of improperly accepting free university benefits. A university investigation also found him responsible for unauthorized use of school resources.
Dirks was said to have improperly accepted membership to the campus fitness center, two years of personal training sessions as well as unauthorized transfer of exercise equipment from the public gym to his private residence. The Los Angeles Times reported that he failed to pay $4,990 in fees for the gym membership, personal training and enjoyed the private use of a Precor Cross Trainor elliptical exercise machine, which is worth about $3,500 and $4,000.
Ethics rules from UC prohibit employees from unauthorized use of campus resources or facilities. It also bars them from having conflicts of private interests with their obligations from the university.
The investigation was conducted by an external firm, Public Interest Investigations Inc., for the UC Office of the President. It found that Dirks violated the ethics rules and concluded that the allegations against him by an unidentified whistleblower were founded.
UC spokesperson Dianne Klein has confirmed that Dirks already apologized. He has also paid the money he owed before the investigation was completed in September.
According to the Associated Press, via U.S. News, the investigation concluded in September but was kept private for six months. Dirks will be stepping down as chancellor on Jun. 30 but has announced that he plans to become a full-time professor at the institution.
He was appointed as UC Berkeley's 10th chancellor on Jun. 1, 2013. During Dirk's tenure, he launched major projects to improve undergraduate education as well as optimize fundraising.
He also faced criticisms for reportedly being too lenient when investigating sexual harassment cases that involved high-profile faculty. One instance was that of Sujit Choudhry, the former dean of the law school, who only received a temporary pay cut and ordered to undergo counseling as punishment after he was found guilty of repeatedly kissing and touching a subordinate.