Capilano University offers to return seized sculpture, but bans it from campus

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      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”.



      T-bone Stallone

      May 13, 2014 at 4:19pm

      Always a little ironic when the one's with the power invoke the "bully" discourse to discredit their detractors...

      Whatta Farce

      May 13, 2014 at 4:22pm

      Seriously? Respectful workplace? I challenge the public to contact HR to ask them how many employees have fallen victim to the level of disrespect and the horrendous amount of workplace bullying that have taken place in recent years! This is not a disgruntled ex-employee writing. It's a voice that has heard from the inside of how many unhappy employees who are left and those who have moved on!!!

      Here's How The Antibullying Agitprop Plays Out

      May 13, 2014 at 4:37pm

      This is why it was introduced: so that management can claim criticism is "bullying."

      merrell gerber

      May 13, 2014 at 6:04pm

      Once Capilano became a University the entire atmosphere on campus changed for the worse. The courses remained the same but the crankiness and meanness from the top on down soured so many. The 'buck' stopped nowhere and people were let go left right and centre. The community I had worked in and with was no longer in existence and I have no regret in leaving. Capilano U is suffering the same as many institutions elsewhere: it has become a profit based corporation.

      The Baby Jesus

      May 14, 2014 at 6:48am

      I don't know anyone involved in this, never even been there. But what is clear, here, is that the president is an ass. If this idiot can't take some criticism then that person ought to consider a line of work that doesn't depend so much on free expression. What an utter twit.


      May 14, 2014 at 5:01pm

      Yes, satire does exist to humiliate -- that's what satire is about -- this was not done on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation, even age or looks or gender -- it's a political statement, as satire often is-- and it is about a senior person being the lapdog of larger powers -- an opinion one is free to feel or believe, and to say so -- that it is bullying is right out of 1984 -- reversing the meaning of words, or principles. The president should be humiliated to have felt humiliated and then trying to get rid of it under the specious cover of the principles of respect and bullying.

      Retention ?

      May 16, 2014 at 2:59pm

      How's Cap's retention of their long-time or exceptional employees these days? How many have made that leap to leave? Turnover has been significant. Don't dress it up. The people remaining work extremely long and hard and get no appreciation. Tragic!