A well-known Canadian novelist has been suspended from his position at UBC, according to a memorandum posted on the university’s website.
Steven Galloway, chair of the school’s creative-writing program, is the subject of an investigation into “serious allegations”, it reads.
The document gives no indication of what those allegations might be. However, it does include a note about community safety.
“Our priority is attending to the safety, health and wellbeing of all members of our community,” that section reads. “If you ever have information that is concerning to your safety and wellbeing, we encourage you to seek the support available through Counselling Services and your program as well as the Dean’s Office.”
It goes on to present options where students can access such services.
“For students, there are multiple places to reach out for confidential support on Campus,” it reads. “UBC Counselling Services...provides free one-on-one counselling to support students in a respectful, safe, and supportive environment.”
The memorandum, which is attributed to UBC arts dean Gage Averill and address to faculty, staff, and students of the creative-writing program, emphasizes that while Galloway has been suspended with pay, he has yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing.
“We will be proceeding with the advice of Faculty Relations to carry out the investigation,” it reads. “The usual process involves hearing the complaints, providing the respondent with an opportunity to respond, and making a determination on the allegations. To observe due process and to respect the privacy of the individuals involved, this process is confidential. Please keep in mind that the investigation has not yet commenced and no findings have been made about any wrongdoing by Prof. Galloway.”
The Globe and Mail reached Galloway by phone this afternoon. The professor told the paper he was unaware of the reasons for his suspension and the investigation.
“I don’t even know what the allegations are,” he said.
Update: The morning of November 19, Galloway's publisher, Random House Canada, voiced its support for the author on Twitter.
"We're proud to publish Steven Galloway, acclaimed author of The Cellist of Sarajevo & others," it wrote there. "We look forward to publishing his future books."