McMaster tribunal recommends suspensions after DeGroote investigation

September 27, 2013

A McMaster University tribunal has recommended suspensions (ranging up to 5 years) for 5 faculty members, including senior tenured professors, and a written reprimand for a 6th, following an investigation into complaints made under the university’s Anti-Discrimination Policy. The tribunal’s report, which McMaster made public last week, is based on 200 hours of testimony and 2,694 documents, and reports evidence of harassment that created a “poisoned work/academic environment for a number of years.” The report does not identify any employees by name, but according to Saturday's Globe and Mail the conflict centred around Paul Bates, former Dean of the DeGroote School of Business, who stepped down in 2010 "amid tensions between his supporters and those who discredited him as a non-academic intruder."  The latter group reportedly "declared war" and allegedly interfered with the tenure process to oppose the career advancement of the former. McMaster President Patrick Deane issued a statement last Friday, saying that “the university takes seriously its commitment to provide an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and will not tolerate such behaviour against any member of our community. As such, I fully accept the Tribunal’s findings.” McMaster News (tribunal report) | McMaster News (statement) | Globe and Mail (Friday) | Globe and Mail (Saturday)