UBC's announcement of Steven Galloway suspension criticized by faculty association

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      The UBC Faculty Association has criticized how the university's administration handled the suspension of UBC Creative Writing chair Steven Galloway.

      On November 18, a memorandum from the UBC Dean of Arts Gage Averill was posted on the UBC Creative Department website. The memo stated that Galloway had been temporarily suspended with pay due to an investigation prompted by "serious allegations". He also stated that the process was confidential, had not yet commenced, and that no findings had yet been made about any wrongdoings by the professor.

      In a memo posted on Friday (November 20) on the UBC Faculty Association website, president Mark Mac Lean responded to the announcement. He expressed concerns about that this information had been made public.

      In the memo, Mac Lean stated:

      On November 16, 2015, the Faculty Association of the University of British Columbia became aware that the University had suspended with pay the Chair of the Department of Creative Writing, Professor Steven Galloway, pending an investigation into “serious allegations” against him. Unfortunately, this confidential information was released to the public by way of the posting of an internal memorandum from the Dean of Arts, and by various interviews granted to the media by members of the university administration.

      Professor Galloway has a legal right to privacy regarding matters pertaining to his employment status and an expectation of procedural fairness, natural justice, and that the labour relations processes and practices at the University will be followed.

      We deeply regret that unspecified allegations and the fact of his suspension have been made public by the University and we will not be commenting further.

      In a November 18 interview with the Globe & Mail, Galloway, the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo and The Confabulist, stated that he didn't even know what the charges were.

      Associate professor Annabel Lyon and professor Linda Svendsen are now serving as acting co-chairs of the program.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.