UC Berkeley suspends professor accused of sexual harassment

Alan Tansman
(UC Berkeley)

A tenured professor at UC Berkeley has been suspended after the university said he sexually harassed a student over a period of years and created a hostile work environment for her.

Alan Tansman, a professor in the department of East Asian languages and cultures, agreed on Nov. 20 to a two-year suspension, with one year unpaid and the other partially paid, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In a letter obtained by the newspaper, UC Berkeley Vice Provost Ben Hermalin tells Tansman’s former student that the unpaid suspension “represents a significant loss of income of over $190,000.”

Neither Tansman nor his lawyers responded to requests for comment Wednesday.


When asked about Tansman’s suspension, Berkeley officials released a statement that said investigators determined a professor in the Arts and Humanities Division violated the university’s sexual harassment policies. The statement did not name Tansman.

According to the statement, the professor was given limited access to UC Berkeley and a temporary denial of teaching or advising of new students.

The university said that between 2007 and 2009, the professor engaged in unwelcome verbal conduct of a sexual nature that created a hostile environment and interfered with the complainant’s study and work.

“At all times, the Professor denied, and continues to deny, the allegations and maintains that he did not engage in conduct that violated” the university’s code of conduct, the statement said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.