Concordia Creative Writing Professor Harassment Allegations Dropped

Complainants Left In The Dark After Investigation Results

  • Two women in the creative writing department filed a harassment complaint against a Concordia professor in January 2018 but were not notified that the case had been dropped in September 2018 until this week by the professor’s lawyer. File Photo Brian Lapuz

A Concordia professor in the creative writing program was cleared of sexual harassment allegations last September without students who filed the complaints being notified, the CBC has revealed.

Two Concordia students within the creative writing program came forward with allegations against a creative writing professor said they were never notified when the internal investigation was dropped.

Both complainants were only made aware of the update told through the professor’s lawyer this week, according to the CBC.

Francis Bouchard, press attaché for the Minister of Higher Education Jean-Francois Roberge, said they are in the process of following up with Concordia to learn more about what happened.

“We’d expect that any establishment that has investigated a harassment complaint against a member of its staff would report the results of the [investigation] to the person who originally filed the complaint,” wrote Bouchard to the CBC. “Complaints like this should be treated with as much transparency as possible.”

Concordia Spokesperson Fiona Downey couldn’t comment on the situation, citing privacy legislation, but said, “We do understand that the legal limitations of the processes may be frustrating.”

“What we can say–and we’ve been very public about this–is that coercion, abuse of power, sexual misconduct and sexual violence are unacceptable behaviours,” Downey wrote. “Concordia will not tolerate these behaviours from staff or faculty.”

The case began a year ago in January of 2018 when two students filed a harassment complaint against their professor who remains in Concordia’s English department.

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Downey also mentioned that results from the university’s climate review of the English department will be out soon.

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