Capilano University has offered to return a seized sculpture to its artist.
But there’s one condition: the piece can’t be displayed again on campus.
In a statement released today (May 13), CapU board chair Jane Shackell confirmed that an effigy of university president Kris Bulcroft was removed from campus. She said that it was done on her direction.
“I am satisfied that recently the sculpture has been used in a manner amounting to workplace harassment of an individual employee, intended to belittle and humiliate the President,” Shackell stated. “This led me, as Board Chair, to take action.”
The piece was made by George Rammell, an instructor of sculpture at CapU. It depicts Bulcroft wrapped in a U.S. flag with a poodle.
In the statement, Shackell said: “Our University is committed to the open and vigorous discourse that is essential in an academic community, the inherent value of artistic expression, and the rights to free speech and protest that all Canadians enjoy. No one wants Capilano to be a place where art is arbitrarily removed or censored.”
Shackell continued: “We must also be mindful of the University’s obligations to cultivate and protect a respectful workplace in which personal harassment and bullying are prohibited. These obligations are reflected in our employment policies, as well as legislation. Our policies are intended to protect the interests of all individuals in our community – including our president, as well as our faculty and all others.”
Shackell also said that the university has “has offered to give Mr. Rammell the sculpture” on condition that it “not be returned to campus”.