Sunday, October 24, 2021

U of T received formal complaints against ex-Trinity College provost accused of sexual harassment, but he wasn’t punished


University of Toronto Trinity College Oxford Balliol education sexual harassment rape academia misconduct

The University of Toronto received formal complaints on at least two occasions about former professor Andy Orchard alleging sexual advances and inappropriate touching of graduate students. But it was the victims of his advances, and not the professor, who faced repercussions, the Star has learned.

Orchard, a world renowned scholar of English and medieval studies who was the provost and vice-chancellor of Trinity College from 2007 to 2013, allegedly engaged in sexual relationships with his students and sexually harassed others over the course of years, according to a blockbuster Al Jazeera report published this week on sexual misconduct in academia.

Orchard did not respond to the Star’s request for comment. Orchard’s lawyers sent a five-page letter to Al Jazeera disputing the allegations, but he did not permit any of it to appear in the report.

The Star has obtained a letter confirming that two students complained Orchard isolated a student in conversation and would not let go of her hand at a pub near U of T campus, where he would routinely meet students outside of class. The letter, written by the acting director of the Centre for Medieval Studies in 2008, informs Orchard “it is inappropriate to interact with students in pubs or while under the influence of alcohol.”

“… as reported, the conduct was inappropriate and in breach of the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and the provost’s guidelines regarding close personal relations with students,” the letter states. “I must advise you that the alleged conduct may have also been in violation of the University’s Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment.”

Despite these alleged transgressions, Orchard faced no consequences. He was told not to do it again.

“I must caution you that in future you must take care never to place your personal interests in conflict with your students,” the letter states.

But the students involved in the incident were reassigned new thesis supervisors.  (more...)

U of T received formal complaints against ex-Trinity College provost accused of sexual harassment, but he wasn’t punished


Oxford professors abused position with sexist and drunken conduct

education sexual harassment misconduct academia Toronto university
Trinity alumni, both

The dons at my college, also connected to Oxford, were just as disgusting -- I was aggressively propositioned by two of them. I informed the dean, but had no desire to press formal charges.

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