Friday, April 3

UCLA chancellor responds to racial discrimination lawsuit

Chancellor Gene Block issued a statement today in response to a lawsuit filed against the UC Board of Regents that claims the university failed to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation against a faculty member in the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Dr. Christian Head, a head and neck surgeon, said in the complaint filed April 17 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court that he has been subject to routine public humiliation by colleagues. He said he was once depicted as a gorilla being sodomized by a department chairman in a slideshow presentation at a resident graduate event several years ago.

According to the complaint, he made numerous complaints that led to retaliation by university employees and denied opportunities.

Head’s allegations have gained widespread attention recently in the form of a YouTube video and a petition on

In his statement, Block reiterates previous statements made by the university that UCLA investigated the claims and was unable to substantiate them. He added that Head was given the information necessary to make use of internal procedures, or instead turn directly to the legal system. All members of the UC system are entitled to that decision, Block said.

“Such a choice does not mean that UCLA administrators failed to act on this person’s behalf or that UCLA failed to respond,” Block said in the statement.

He added that the allegations “do not accurately describe the UCLA that I have the honor of leading.”

Compiled by Nicole Chiang, Bruin contributor.

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  • David

    Well…you just don’t win a 4.5 million dollar settlement, against the Regents of U.C no less, for an unsubstantiated claim. Hum…all the accounts that I have read emphasize the gorilla depiction. But I wonder what else was said by Dr. Marilene Wang and Dr. Gerald Berke, who are mentioned in the lawsuit. I now question the integrity of those in authority at UCLA and UC at large.