NW Week

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

UPEI board of governors has authorized a third-party review into new claims

UPEI board of governors

Key Takeaways:

  • The University of Prince Island Board of Governors has launched a third-party investigation into “workplace misconduct” allegations involving the university’s former president, Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.

Abd-El-Aziz resigned from his position on Tuesday night, effective immediately, stating in a letter to the campus community that he was retiring due to health concerns.

However, in an email to the UPEI community on Wednesday, board chair Pat Sinnott stated that the board learned about allegations of workplace misconduct on Monday and brought them to the attention of Abd-El-Aziz that same day.

“The university’s comprehensive Fair Treatment Policy has been invoked, and the board will also conduct an independent, third-party review to determine the facts surrounding these allegations,” according to the email.

“Upon completion of that review, the board will respond in a manner consistent with privacy and transparency expectations.” Sinnott stated that the board takes these issues seriously and will continue to support students while the review is underway.

Alaa Abd-El-Aziz University’s former president; Image from Yahoo news canada

The email stated, “The University of Prince Edward Island is committed to providing a safe, respectful, or positive environment for all members of the UPEI community.” “The steps we are taking reflect that commitment and will ensure that UPEI’s values are reflected in everything we do.”

This is the first time the university’s board of trustees has publicly acknowledged any issues with Abd-El-Aziz since 2013. It reached settlements with two employees who had filed sexual harassment complaints with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

At the time, the chairman of the board of governors, Tom Cullen, stated that the complaints involved “inappropriate comments.” Huggan hoped the university would follow through on its promise to investigate the latest allegations independently. He also believes that UPEI requires a “review of workplace wellness, policies, and the pathway for a team member who is struggling and having difficulties.”

“They have control over every path you try to take. And those who oppose it are no longer present.”

Source: C.B.C. News

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