Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor of University of California Berkeley, has resigned, The New York Times reports. The UC Berkeley Chancellor released a statement Tuesday regarding the matter on the University website, stating that over the course of the summer, Dirks “came to the personal decision” that it was time to step down.
His resignation comes amid the criticism from officials and students alike about of the mishandling of both financial funds and sexual harassment claims. The chancellor leaves a spotty legacy after his time at Berkeley, despite a $200,000 effort to save his image with consultants.
Dirks started as UC Berkeley Chancellor in June 2013 and has since cultivated a tense relationship with university officials and students. Since his time at Berkeley, Mother Jones reports there have been at least four incidents of high ranking Berkeley professors and staff harassing students and subordinates, including the School of Law dean and a famed astronomy professor. Both were found to have been in violation of Berkeley code. The president of the University of California system, Janet Napolitano, expressed disappointment with the Chancellor for the handling of the allegations.
In response to the mishandling of these allegations, students took to his office and protested for his resignation. He responded by building a $9,000 escape door, a move students called unneccesary and elitist, which further called his handling of funds into question. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the chancellor built a security fence around his campus residence which cost the university around $700,000. There were also reports of the chancellor using a personal trainer with free reign, causing the trainer to be put on administrative leave.
UC Berkeley students took to Twitter to express their views on his resignation, mostly joy at the news and upset at the discord.
— Christopher Petrella (@CFPetrella) August 17, 2016
National holiday anyone? Lol
⚡️ “UC Berkeley chancellor resigns after troubled tenure”https://t.co/Fg2J79JFE5
— Marcito (@muscleman_Marc) August 17, 2016
However, despite the resignation, Dirks will remain at Berkeley as a full time professor which he maintains was his goal in the first place.