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UC Berkeley faculty request investigation of campus official's pay raise scandal

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MARCH 16, 2012

A group of UC Berkeley faculty members sent a letter Tuesday to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer questioning the “surprisingly mild measures” administrators have taken in response to a campus official who gave pay raises to her sexual partner.

Former assistant vice chancellor Diane Leite was recently demoted and docked pay for violating the university’s sexual harassment policy. She authorized five pay increases for a subordinate employee — who has been identified as Jonathan Caniezo, procurement and general services manager for research services — over a two-year time period, according to a December report of investigation and findings written by research services.

Her pay has been cut from $188,531 to $175,000, according to a letter Fleming sent to Leite Feb. 17.

The letter, signed by 13 faculty members, contends that Leite’s “seemingly key role” in her new position after her demotion — she works in the newly created Berkeley Research Development Office and reports directly to Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming — is an “affront to a campus that is considered an international scientific leader.”

In the letter, faculty members also request that an independent committee be created to look into the issue. The administration is in the process of reviewing compensation and classification issues that came to light in the course of the original investigation into Leite’s actions, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

 Caniezo’s gross pay increased from $78,779 in 2009 to $104,339.60 in 2010, according to UC salary data. His current pay is $110,210, according to UC spokesperson Dan Mogulof.
An online petition — which had over 300 signatures as of Friday morning — has also been circulating and calls for the campus to fire Leite.

“Based on her dealings with us as director of (Research Enterprise Services), we are convinced that the problems are much deeper and that having Diane Leite hold any position of responsibility or power on this campus is harmful to our institution,” the letter states. “… Many of us have been voicing serious concerns and issues regarding (Research Enterprise Services), its goals, organization and oversight, for the last two years.”

Contact Alisha Azevedo at 


MARCH 19, 2012

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