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Berkeley Astronomer Gets $42,000 In Salary After Resigning For Sexual Harassment

Geoff Marcy, who resigned from the University of California, Berkeley in October, still has an office, salary, and benefits.

Posted on December 17, 2015, at 4:47 p.m. ET

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Geoff Marcy

Geoff Marcy, the famous Berkeley astronomy professor who resigned in October after a sexual harassment scandal, is still getting a salary and benefits from the university, BuzzFeed News has learned.

According to Berkeley’s Academic Personnel Office, Marcy will have received more than $42,000 in gross pay between October 15, the day after he resigned, and December 30, when his ties to the University will be formally severed.

According to the most recently disclosed numbers from the University of California, Marcy’s annual salary in 2014 was $217,861.

“He was paid during these last two months of his tenure at Berkeley to complete the significant amount of work necessary for the orderly transition of his research endeavors,” Dan Mogulof, a Berkeley spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News via email.

Marcy is no longer teaching at the university, Mogulof noted. He will have an office and continue to receive medical benefits until the end of the year.

Marcy is still getting paid because Berkeley only has two dates each year when faculty can end their tenure, Mogulof said.

Marcy did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

In early October, BuzzFeed News revealed a university investigation finding that Marcy had violated Berkeley’s sexual harassment policies in several cases spanning from 2001 to 2010.

As a result of the investigation, Marcy was put on probation and limited in how he could interact with students. If found in violation a second time, he would have been at risk of suspension or losing his job.

After the confidential findings erupted into a public scandal, members of the astronomy department asked Marcy to step down. The chair of Berkeley’s astronomy department, Eugene Chiang, declined to comment for this story.

A faculty member who is terminated by Berkeley (as opposed to resigning) would probably stop getting paid immediately, Mogulof said.

However, he added, “no one here can recall any instance of a tenured faculty member being terminated at Berkeley.”