UCI proposes new name for School of Biological Sciences, science library after internal investigation substantiates sexual harassment claims against signature donor
June 28, 2018
IRVINE, Calif., June 28, 2018 – The University of California, Irvine is taking steps to remove the Ayala name from its biology school and central science library after an internal investigation substantiated a number of sexual harassment claims against Francisco J. Ayala, the signature donor of both institutions.
The investigation by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) began in November 2017 and ended in May 2018. Four women from the School of Biological Sciences, who asked to be identified, filed reports with the OEOD: Kathleen Treseder, professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology; Jessica Pratt, assistant teaching professor; Benedicte Shipley, assistant dean; and Michelle Herrera, graduate student. The investigators interviewed more than 60 witnesses, in addition to the four complainants. More.
Added: Jerry Coyne unloads on Francisco Ayala here: “I found Ayala snobbish, arrogant, and above all a rampant careerist, who would do anything to become famous and promote his name.”
This from The Scientist:
“I deeply regret that what I have always thought of as the good manners of a European gentleman—to greet women colleagues warmly, with a kiss to both cheeks, to compliment them on their beauty—made colleagues I respect uncomfortable,” Ayala says in a statement, according to the newspaper. “It was never my intent to do so.”
Four women complained to the university about Ayala: professor Kathleen?Treseder, assistant teaching professor Jessica Pratt, assistant dean Benedicte Shipley, and graduate student Michelle Herrera. An attorney representing three of the women tells Science Ayala touched them inappropriately and made sexual remarks. An investigation into Ayala’s behavior began in November of last year. More.
Several friends think that the university should return the $10 million he gave, instead of just keeping it, unless he has directed them to do otherwise. That is, why should the U be seen to benefit from the situation?
See also: Ann Gauger on watching Ayala’s no Adam or Eve analysis crumble …
Adam and Eve possible?: Ayala’s contrary claim built in favourable assumptions
Templeton prize-winning Darwinist Francisco Ayala offers to explain, “Am I a Monkey?”
Craig vs. Ayala (Barry Arrington)
Also: At Buzzfeed: Serious sexual assault allegations against celebrity physicist Lawrence Krauss