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Dentistry professor sues UC for alleged retaliation following Title IX testimony

Kang Eric Ting, a professor of dentistry, filed a suit against the University of California because of repeated harassment after he testified in a Title IX investigation. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Jintak Han

May 27, 2020 9:41 pm

A professor of dentistry filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the University of California for allegedly retaliating against his testimony in a Title IX investigation. 

Kang Eric Ting, a professor in the School of Dentistry, claimed he faced retaliatory abuse after he testified against Sotirios Tetradis, a senior associate dean of the School of Dentistry, in a Title IX sexual harassment proceeding against Tetradis in 2018. Ting said the testimony resulted in his removal as the chair of the Section of Orthodontics.

Ting said he first faced harassment and discrimination from department faculty after he requested a leave of absence to care for his ailing father in Taiwan at the end of 2017, according to the complaint filed with the court.

UCLA, Tetradis, School of Dentistry Dean Paul Krebsbach and four professors who served as interim replacements for Ting are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Justine Tanjaya, a doctoral student in the School of Dentistry and Ting’s mentee, filed a sexual harassment complaint against Tetradis in June 2018 and sued Tetradis and the UC in federal court in April 2019.

In Tanjaya’s lawsuit, Tanjaya also claimed Tetradis urged her to file a false Title IX complaint against Ting, which she declined. Tetradis still made false sexual harassment allegations against Ting on Tanjaya’s behalf, according to court documents.

Ting said Tetradis’ allegations delayed his leave of absence by six weeks.

The complaint said Tetradis’ and Krebsbach’s hostility caused Ting to develop insomnia, anxiety, depression, a stomach ulcer and gastrointestinal issues, the last of which required a gastrointestinal tract procedure. Ting also alleged the university failed to accommodate for his health issues by questioning his medical leaves.

Ting also filed multiple grievances with the university in 2018, including a Title IX complaint for discrimination against his health conditions. The Title IX Office and the Academic Senate denied Ting’s grievances and closed the complaints.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued Ting a right to sue letter in December 2019 after he filed his second DFEH complaint. Ting first reported the retaliation allegations to DFEH in August 2018. 

Douglas Mirell, Ting’s attorney, said the complaint speaks for itself but declined to comment further.

A spokesperson for UCLA declined to comment. 

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Jintak Han | Senior staff photojournalist & news reporter
Jintak Han is a senior staff photojournalist and news reporter. He photographs anything that catches his eye and writes for the City & Crime beat. He previously served as the 2016-2017 Assistant Photo editor.
Jintak Han is a senior staff photojournalist and news reporter. He photographs anything that catches his eye and writes for the City & Crime beat. He previously served as the 2016-2017 Assistant Photo editor.
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