This post has been updated
Famous exoplanet hunter Geoff Marcy has resigned from his faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley, according to an e-mail to campus that has since been released to the press.
Last week, a report by Buzzfeed's Azeen Ghorayshi revealed that several incidents of sexual harassment had been reported to the university, leading to an official six-month investigation that ended in July. Marcy was found to have violated the school's sexual harassment policy on multiple occasions during the past decade.
The biggest takeaway for most was U.C. Berkeley's lack of response: Marcy faced no repercussions from the school, simply a warning not to repeat his behavior. In fact, the official response by the department chair, Gibor Basri, was criticized for offering no support to the victims of the harassment, and instead asking faculty and students to offer their sympathy to Marcy during this trying time. Many students and faculty at U.C. Berkeley have signed open letters calling for Marcy's removal. In addition, a large group of prominent astronomers have signed a letter in protest of a New York Times article that they felt was unreasonably sympathetic toward Marcy.
Marcy's resignation was confirmed in a Wednesday e-mail signed by U.C. Berkeley chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks and executive vice chancellor and provost Claude Steele. In contrast to the initial e-mail from Basri, the note expressed sympathy for the harassment victims and thoroughly condemned Marcy's actions.
The letter alluded to policies that would have made it difficult for U.C. Berkeley to terminate Marcy based on the findings of its investigation, presumably because some of the incidents had taken place several years prior.