John Montalbano resigns as UBC chair but not from board of governors

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      Facing allegations that he violated a professor's academic freedom, John Montalbano has resigned at least temporarily as chair of the UBC board of governors.

      Vice-chair Alice Laberge has stepped up to become acting chair while an independent investigation looks into the conduct of Montalbano and Sauder School of Business officials.

      "Today, the Board of Governors accepted a request from its Chair, John Montalbano, that the Board ask the Vice-Chair, Alice Laberge, to assume the duties of Acting Chair for the duration of the Fact Finding Process agreed to by the University and the Faculty Association. Mr. Montalbano intends to fully participate in the process that will be undertaken by the Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.C. and wants to ensure the integrity of the process is not hindered by his performing the duties of Chair," the board said in a statement issued on Tuesday (August 25).

      The statement continued: "Ms. Laberge has agreed to assume the duties of Acting Chair of the Board and respects John’s commitment to participate in the Fact Finding process. Mr. Montalbano continues as a member of the Board.

      "The Board of Governors looks forward to welcoming Dr. Martha Piper to her role as Interim President on September 1, and to working with her to support the University’s research and teaching mission as one of the world’s leading universities."

      The same day, UBC and the UBC Faculty Association issued a joint statement about the fact-finding process, which will report to those bodies by October 7 and prepare an executive summary for public circulation by October 15.

      "After collegial and congenial discussions, today the University of British Columbia, represented by Acting President Angela Redish, and the UBC Faculty Association, represented by President Mark MacLean, have agreed to a process to review the concerns raised by the Faculty Association in their letter of August 18, 2015," the statement said.

      The statement continued: "We are pleased that the Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.C has agreed to undertake this fact-finding process, effective September 1, 2015. Lynn Smith will summarize her findings and conclusions in a report that will be available to the public."

      Last week, the UBC Faculty Association let it be known it had lost confidence in Montalbano and called for his immediate resignation.

      The Canadian Association of University Teachers also called for Montalbano to "step aside" as UBC chair while the university investigates allegations that he violated the academic freedom of Jennifer Berdahl, the Montalbano professor of leadership studies in gender and diversity at UBC's Sauder School of Business.

      Aaron Bailey, president of the Alma Mater Society, issued a statement on August 21 declining to add the student union's voice to those wanting Montalbano out.

      The lingering controversy stems from the unexplained departure of UBC president Arvind Gupta.

      Comments

      5 Comments

      -ha-

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:02am

      obviously lost the femininity contest. he should write a blog about it... UBC hahahaaa

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      A Place of Chair

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:36am

      Just a Public Relations move temporarily step aside than back officially.

      Unofficially nothing changes even temporarily.

      UBC is Public Funded to the tune of billions by Canadians.

      Canadians don't expect a Banker to create his own little world at UBC naming things after himself etc.

      UBC is also $400 Million in Debt time for regime change.

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      Lynn Smith

      Aug 26, 2015 at 11:36am

      Lynn Smith is an ideal choice to conduct this review. To academics she's a win/win because she's not only well qualified, the fee she charges will undoubtedly result in the lay-off of another staff member.

      Perhaps Montalbano and Berdahl could establish a fund to help support the families of the people who will lose their jobs to cover the cost of their immature behaviour.

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      Truthfully

      Aug 26, 2015 at 2:23pm

      This is turning out to be a "He Said-She Said" lip service fact finding exercise. Hopefully Berdahl will have enough "Smoking Gun evidence and/ or witness" to reveal the "Systemic Problems" at UBC. Respective Policy is toothless, they should also include Policy 3!

      BEEN THERE!!!

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      RBC and Montalbano linked in my mind after this debacle

      Sep 3, 2015 at 7:51pm

      Won't be using RBC in the future.

      This whole thing is just so distasteful

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