University of California-Berkeley professor Nezar AlSayyad has been suspended three years without pay. AlSayyad is a renowned architecture professor but was suspended for allegedly sexually harassing a UC Berkeley graduate student and doctoral candidate. AlSayyad “engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment that created a hostile environment,” Vice Provost Benjamin Hermalin wrote, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
AlSayyad is accused of isolating the student, Eva Hagberg Fisher, from other faculty members in order to put himself in a position of power and influence.
The suspension came after a nearly two-year investigation.
From The Chronicle:
.@UCBerkeley suspends renowned architecture Professor Nezar AlSayyad for three years without pay for sexually harassing a graduate student and abusing his power for personal gain.@cdizikes & @NanetteAsimov have the full story: https://t.co/jm14IbFlYH pic.twitter.com/uesOmexxVz
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) August 20, 2018
His ongoing manipulation, according to the investigation, intimidated and isolated Hagberg Fisher. He told her that other faculty members were skeptical of her ability as a scholar and that he would protect her from “two vultures” in the architecture department who had targeted her, the investigation found. Hagberg Fisher said AlSayyad’s comments and behavior caused her to change departments and the course of her career.
AlSayyad is an internationally recognized scholar and speaker who has taught at UC Berkeley since 1985. He was barred from teaching courses in 2016, when The Chronicle broke the story of the harassment findings. Within days, students demanded his removal.
When the investigation first began, AlSayyad continued collecting a $211,000 salary and advising students.
AlSayyad, who is 62 years old, is barred from nonpublic areas of the campus and can no longer supervise grad students or “participate in faculty governance or engage in other specific activities.”
“Chancellor Christ determined that Professor AlSayyad’s pattern of unwelcome, manipulative, and divisive behavior was harmful to students, including you specifically, and to his faculty colleagues,” Hermalin wrote.
According to the report, there have been decades of allegations against AlSayyad, but the university had never stepped in until Hagberg’s Title IX investigation.
AlSayyad is just the latest teacher to be charged for an inappropriate relationship with a teenager. Over the course of just a few months, educators across the country were arrested for entering into an inappropriate relationship with their students, Tennessee teacher Janet Smothers, LaToya Parker, Florida teacher Caroline Lawson, 26-year-old Allyson Moran and Katherine Ross Ridenhour were all arrested on similar charges. A woman named Kayla Sprinkles was arrested in North Carolina for similar sexual crimes.
The list goes on to include 22-year-old Oklahoma science teacher Hunter Day, 28-year-old teacher Megan Kotarski, 23-year-old history teacher Michelle Schiffer, 29-year-old Alyssia Marie Reddy, special education teacher Jordan Ondish and 28-year-old Samantha Fitzpatrick have all been allegedly carrying on inappropriate relationships with their students.
In addition, 31-year-old Nicole Marie Andrews, 32-year-old Jessica Langford, 29-year-old Andrea Baber, 27-year-old Robin Dunlap, 27-year-old Jennifer Olajire-Aro have also been charged with these charges.
34-year-old Miranda Nicole Pauley was charged with similar crimes, Nancy Leigh Ann Brann, a former Christian school teacher, was arrested for having sex with a student, Coine Audiat pleaded no contest to having sex with a minor in 2016 and 23-year-old Darci Lake was arrested for an inappropriate relationship. 27-year-old Brittany Zamora from Arizona was arrested on similar charges. Keri Hoffman, 35, was also arrested for an alleged relationship with a student. More recently, 29-year-old Tiffany Ranweiler-Oblander and 33-year-old Maren Oates were arrested on similar charges.