The facts on recent allegations of discrimination
By UCLA Newsroom May 30, 2012
The facts on Dr. Christian Head's recent allegations:
- Dr. Head's allegations of reprehensible and derogatory behavior are contrary to UCLA's core values and are taken very seriously; such behavior will not be tolerated. As a public institution, UCLA reflects California's broad diversity — through its students, faculty and staff. The university is deeply committed to continuing its important efforts to maintain a campus environment that prepares tomorrow's leaders to live and work in a global economy.
- Dr. Head has not been ignored. He and his lawyer first approached UCLA about this matter one year ago, five years after the alleged incident, demanding payment of $670,000, along with start-up funds for a research lab and a guaranteed salary inconsistent with Dr. Head's faculty position. UCLA was unable to substantiate his claims of ongoing discrimination and retribution and therefore declined to settle with Dr. Head. Unfortunately, pending litigation prevents us from commenting further.
- Dr. Head's allegations that the UCLA Health System would knowingly take actions that could jeopardize a patient's care are nothing short of outrageous. No surgery can take place at UCLA without numerous procedural steps to ensure that all necessary and required personnel are present.
- Dr. Head and his attorney were repeatedly advised of the appropriate university process to have their claims reviewed, which would have afforded them the opportunity to have a faculty committee conduct a full investigation, reviewing all the evidence and taking testimony under oath. They chose to forego those procedures in favor of the legal system and a media campaign.
- The chancellor routinely meets with faculty leadership on a wide variety of issues, including this one, and he has directed the executive vice chancellor to engage key faculty on all issues related to diversity, equality and respect. These issues are critical to our ongoing commitment to maintain a welcoming environment.
- UCLA is deeply saddened to see organizations with which we have worked closely on shared goals in the past now rushing to judgment and questioning our commitment to equality and diversity without having all the facts, particularly at a time when pending legal action severely limits our ability to fully respond.
- UCLA's record on issues related to diversity and inclusion is well known throughout the community. For an individual employee to now call that proud history into question without offering proof is deeply concerning to us. Our alumni were among the leaders who broke the color barrier, and we will not be deterred from our mission to continue inspiring others in the future.
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recently reviewed UCLA's hiring and promotion practices and determined that the university is in full compliance with all civil rights laws.
- In the weeks since Dr. Head's allegations have been publicized, UCLA has received an outpouring of support from a diverse group of former students, faculty members and the public at large.