Friday, 13 July 2018

Statement on media coverage of Steven Galloway case

Recent media articles about UBC’s handling of the investigation into allegations against Steven Galloway and the decision to terminate him have cast aspersions on the actions and motives of UBC faculty members, students and administrators. In light of this, UBC wants to confirm its unequivocal support for those involved in the case.

This was a difficult, sensitive and complex issue to manage and at every turn the university was challenged with finding the right balance between the privacy rights of the individuals involved and demands for ever-greater transparency. The faculty and staff charged with management of this matter were professional and principled in all of their dealings and were guided throughout by the relevant policies and prescribed processes. Characterizations that these faculty and staff engaged in a flawed process, or insinuations that they had ulterior motives, are simply false.

The Faculty Association filed two grievances against the University on behalf of Steven Galloway: the first alleged breach of Mr. Galloway’s privacy rights as a result of university communications and the second grieved the process that led to the termination, and of the termination itself. The parties then entered a months’ long process of arbitration. In his decision, the arbitrator confirmed that:

  1. In February 2018 during the arbitration proceedings, the Faculty Association withdrew its claim on behalf of Steven Galloway for reinstatement, as well as the claims for compensation for lost income and benefits. Consequently, the issue of whether the University had cause to dismiss Steven Galloway was no longer contested as part of the arbitration.
  2. Certain communications by UBC contravened Steven Galloway’s privacy rights and caused harm to his reputation and UBC must pay Steven Galloway $167,000 in damages.

The University respects the arbitrator’s decision and has committed to maintain confidentiality over the investigation. It is for this reason that we cannot, without Mr. Galloway’s consent, disclose the reasons for our decision to terminate him, or the details of the processes that led us to this decision. In light of our legal obligation of confidentiality, all we can say is that we are confident that the investigation of the complaints against Mr. Galloway was fair and principled, and that the decision to terminate him was fully justified. Further, the University wants to make clear that the faculty and staff members who were responsible for managing this issue did so in a principled and professional manner.

— Philip Steenkamp, Vice-President, External Relations

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