The faculty association at the University of British Columbia has criticized the school's administration over its handling of the case involving Steven Galloway.
Mr. Galloway, a best-selling author, was suspended earlier this week from his role as chair of the creative writing program over unspecified allegations. A memo by the dean of arts was posted online on Wednesday, explaining that Mr. Galloway had been suspended with pay as a result of "serious allegations."
On Friday, the faculty association sent out a memo saying that this was confidential information and should not have been released to the public.
"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," says the memo from faculty association president Mark Mac Lean.
And now the university says it will stop releasing details of the case to the media to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Wednesday's memo from the dean informed students, faculty and staff of the suspension, the fact that there were allegations, and the fact that an investigation was pending.
When reached that day, Mr. Galloway told The Globe and Mail he was not given the specifics of the allegations.
"I don't even know what the allegations are," he said, adding that the faculty association advised him not to comment.
Arts dean Gage Averill subsequently told The Globe that Mr. Galloway was told on Monday of the "general areas of allegations," but that they did not discuss the specific complaints or allegations. "As the investigation proceeds Steven will have a complete opportunity to respond to all specific allegations," Prof. Averill wrote in an e-mail to The Globe on Thursday. "We are all aware and committed to the important point that there is no determination of fact regarding Professor Galloway – what we have now are allegations."
Prof. Averill also spoke with The Globe on Wednesday, as did the acting co-chairs of the program, appointed this week after the suspension.
The faculty association has expressed concern that "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."
The association, which refused comment to The Globe on Friday, says in its note, "We deeply regret that unspecified allegations and the fact of his suspension have been made public by the University."
Also on Friday, UBC spokesperson Susan Danard informed The Globe that "UBC is not doing media interviews at this time or providing further details via the media to maintain the integrity of an impartial, independent investigation and to protect the rights of all parties involved."
On Thursday, UBC had indicated that the appointment of an independent investigator to look into the matter was imminent.
With files from Andrea Woo