UCLA allows professor in ongoing Title IX lawsuit to resume teaching
February 10, 2016 6:10 pm
A UCLA history professor involved in an ongoing Title IX lawsuit reached an agreement with UCLA that will allow him to return to teach.
Gabriel Piterberg was suspended last spring quarter without pay and resigned from his position as director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies last May, after two graduate students filed sexual assault complaints against him.
Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Glasgow, both graduate students in history, filed a federal lawsuit in June against the UC Board of Regents, alleging UCLA officials discouraged them from making formal complaints. The California Central District Court is still reviewing the case.
Michael Porcello, an attorney who represents Takla and Glasgow, said a history professor emailed Takla the terms of the settlement UCLA reached with Piterberg.
The settlement dictates Piterberg cannot contact Takla or be romantically involved with students. He can only interact with students during normal business hours, and paid the UC Board of Regents $3,000.
Porcello said in an email statement he and the students think the settlement is insufficient because it only requires Piterberg to follow existing Title IX policies. He added the settlement addressed Takla’s complaints, but not Glasgow’s.
“These terms seem symbolic of an administration more focused on protecting the reputation of the school and professor Piterberg than (it is focused on) seeking justice for the students he has victimized,” Porcello said.
UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said the university is obligated to protect employees’ privacy, and cannot discuss private personnel matters.
Kristy Lowe, a spokesperson for the law firm that represents Takla and Glasgow, said students will meet Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden to discuss the settlement and ways the university can address what she called a failure to act strongly.
Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.