EXCLUSIVE: Berkeley assault suspect's higher ed employment history more extensive than first thought

Berkeley assault suspect Zachary Greenberg held several positions at various California colleges, Campus Reform has confirmed.

A LinkedIn profile appearing to be that of Greenberg listed the positions.

The profile was removed just hours after Greenberg posted bail.

Zachary Greenberg, the 28-year-old man facing three felony charges and one misdemeanor charge in connection to the incident involving Leadership Institute Field Representative Hayden Williams, has worked, volunteered, and studied at numerous institutions of higher education in California for the better part of a decade, a Campus Reform investigation has found. Greenberg has pleaded not guilty to each of the charges.

Williams, who is an employee of Campus Reform’s parent organization, suffered a black eye and symptoms of a concussion after Greenberg punched him in the face on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley. Williams’ cell phone was also damaged during the altercation. 

Few details have been made public about who exactly Greenberg is, or why he was on the Berkeley campus given that he is not a student there, until now. Campus Reform identified a LinkedIn profile, appearing to belong to Greenberg, and sought to verify the contents of that profile and whether they match the work history of the Zachary Greenberg who allegedly appears in the video. 

The LinkedIn profile was removed just hours after Greenberg posted bail but Campus Reform retained screenshots.

[RELATED: Berkeley assault suspect now faces THREE FELONY counts, one misdemeanor (UPDATE)]

Several schools were listed on the page, including San Francisco State University, University of California-San Francisco and the University of California-Berkeley.  

Here’s what Campus Reform confirmed during the course of its inquiries. 

1. San Francisco State University said that Greenberg graduated from the school with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2012. The LinkedIn profile lists two jobs at the school, one being an undergraduate researcher and the other a lab manager. The dates of the two positions span from 2011 to early 2013, most of which time Greenberg was an SFSU student.

2. The lab manager position on the LinkedIn page states that the owner of that profile co-authored an academic article with Psychology Professor Ken Paap, whose faculty listing states that he has worked for SFSU since 2004. SFSU did not confirm with Campus Reform that Greenberg was employed by the university. However, spokeswoman Mary Kenny noted that “in academia, students can take the lead in research areas and work closely with their professors/mentors as assistants without receiving payment or being an employee. Often, the reward itself is being published in an academic journal.” Paap did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

3. The University of California-San Francisco confirmed to Campus Reform that Greenberg worked in the school’s Department of Neurosurgery from May 2012 to May 2013. UCSF did not confirm the position Greenberg held. The LinkedIn profile lists a research assistant position in the Gazzaley lab, which is part of the Department of Neurosurgery. Adam Gazzaley, the UCSF professor of neurology for whom the Gazzaley Lab is named, did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

4. The University of California-Berkeley confirmed that Greenberg volunteered in the college’s Helen Mills Neuroscience Institute from 2012-2014. The LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Greenberg states that he was a research assistant at UC-Berkeley’s D’Esposito Lab, which is housed within the Helen Mills Neuroscience Institute, from August 2012- May 2013. Berkeley’s D’Esposito Lab website includes a picture of Greenberg and states that he previously worked as a lab manager at San Francisco State University, one of the two positions listed on the LinkedIn profile, which SFSU did not confirm to Campus Reform. The page also links to the academic article Greenberg co-authored with Paap at SFSU.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Man arrested for assault on conservative once employed by UC-Berkeley]

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told Campus Reform on Thursday that it should come as no surprise that Greenberg has such an extensive history of employment by, and associations with, public higher education institutions. 

”It comes as no surprise to learn that the black-shirted young man arrested for assaulting Hayden Williams was an academic beachcomber,” Wood said. “Mr. Greenberg appears to be among those college graduates who hang around the edges of universities picking up tech jobs here and there and simmering with resentment against ‘the system’ that hasn’t made better provision for their talents. At a guess, I’d say he lived in a social milieu in which points were awarded for bravado, aggression, and posturing as an uncompromising foe of ‘fascists.’”

If convicted, Greenberg could face months behind bars. His preliminary trial date is scheduled for April 9.

UC-Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor of Communications Dan Mogulof said in a statement previously provided to Campus Reform, “Let me state in no uncertain terms that this university strongly condemns violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason. That sort of behavior is reprehensible and intolerable. We have, in recent years, spent millions of dollars to ensure that students from across the ideological/political spectrum can safely and successfully promote and discuss their beliefs. Our commitment to freedom of expression and belief is unwavering.”

UCSF and SFSU did not respond in time for publication when asked to comment on Greenberg’s charges and prior associations.

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