Agreement reached with UBC on fact-finding process

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26 August 2015

Dear Colleagues:

This email is an update on events that have transpired since the Faculty Association Executive Committee called for the resignation of the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mr. John Montalbano.

Shortly after our call for Mr. Montalbano’s resignation, we were approached by the University Executive to explore the possibility of designing a suitably rigorous investigation into the complaints against Mr. Montalbano, and other individuals in the Sauder School of Business. The Faculty Association Executive Committee is committed to due process and sound collegial governance, and we therefore accepted the invitation proffered by the University.

As a result of these discussions, the Faculty Association Executive Committee and the University Executive have agreed to an appropriate process for an investigation into the Faculty Association’s concerns.

The Board of Governors has released a statement noting that for the duration of this inquiry, the Vice-Chair of the Board has agreed to assume the duties of Acting Chair of the Board.

At the core of the investigation is a fact-finding process established jointly by the University and the Faculty Association. Please follow this link to view the document.

This process charges an individual, named the Fact Finder, to determine:

“Whether Mr. John S. Montalbano, Chair of the Board of Governors, and/or individuals in the Sauder School of Business identified by the Faculty Association, conducted themselves in the events following Professor Berdahl’s publication of her blog on August 8, 2015 in a manner that violated any provision of the Collective Agreement, the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment, or any applicable University policies, including whether Professor Berdahl’s academic freedom is or was interfered with in any way.”

The Fact Finder for this investigation will be The Honourable Lynn Smith, QC. Ms. Smith is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a former Dean of the UBC School of Law, and, currently, an Honorary Professor at Allard School of Law. Ms. Smith has the full confidence of both the University and the Faculty Association.

The process we have outlined captures the Faculty Association Executive Committee’s commitment to the principles of transparency, due process, fact-based decision making, and fairness. We therefore suspend our call for Mr. Montalbano’s resignation, pending the results of this investigation.


Mark Mac Lean, President (Mathematics)
Vinayak Vatsal, Vice President (Mathematics)
Hugh Neary, Treasurer (Vancouver School of Economics)
Doris Doudet, Secretary (Neurology)
Lara Boyd, Member-at-Large (Physical Therapy)
Thomas Kemple, Member-at-Large (Sociology)
Deanna Kreisel, Member-at-Large (English)
Nancy Langton, Member-at-Large (Sauder School of Business)
Karen Smith, Member-at-Large (Microbiology and Immunology)
Danny Vickers, Member-at-Large (History)
Kristina McDavid, Chair, Librarians and Archivists Committee (Library)
Sarika Bose, Chair, Contract Faculty Committee (English)
Margaret Wright, Chair, Member Services and Grievance Committee (Social Work)
Jim Johnson, Chair, Okanagan Faculty Committee (Economics)
Margot Young, Chair, Status of Women Committee (Law)