Open Letter: TRU Investigation
Dear Dr. Fairbairn TRU President, Honourable Anne Kang Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Members of BC Legislative Assembly, TRU Senate and Board of Governors:
I am writing this letter to call for action responding to the many members of the TRU community who expressed their serious concerns regarding the TRU investigation process. Over the last few weeks, I have compiled news sources over the public outcry from multiple TRU stakeholders that asked the TRU Board of Governors and TRU President to take immediate action and grant a paid administrative leave for two senior administrators due to allegations of sexual harassment, workplace bullying and anti-Indigenous racism (Week 1 coverage: https://krasun.ca/2021/11/28/tru-investigation-what-do-we-know-and-what-actions-are-needed/ Week 2 coverage: https://krasun.ca/2021/12/07/tru-investigation-week-2-tru-administration-silences-tru-communities-and-happy-holidays-actions/ )
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA), Thompson Rivers University Staff (CUPE) and Thompson Rivers University students wrote letters, organized protests and demanded immediate action to protect vulnerable TRU community members. Unfortunately, both the TRU President and TRU Board of Governors have not responded adequately to the demands of TRU students, staff and faculty, resulting in even more public outcry with a higher level of distrust and inability of the Board to fulfill their mandate.
The letter sent from the BC Ministry Advanced Education and Skills Training on June 1st, 2021, to the TRU Board of Governors states that “every public sector organization is accountable to the citizens of British Columbia. The expectations of British Columbians are identified through their elected representatives, the members of the Legislative Assembly”. In addition, the letter sets five foundational principles to inform TRU institution’s policies and programs. Three of them: (1) Putting people first, (2) Lasting and meaningful reconciliation, and (3) Equity and anti-racism; have been jeopardized by the mishandling of complaints made against senior leaders at Thompson Rivers University. Given that the accused occupy positions of power and trust, it is even more critical to step down from their duties to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. The inactions from the Board of Governors and TRU President continue to inflict severe reputational damage and disrupt the workplace for all employees.
I ask the TRU President, Honourable Anne Kang Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Members of BC Legislative Assembly, TRU Senate and Board of Governors, to exercise due diligence and demand that those accused of workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and anti-Indigenous racism be placed on paid leave until the investigation of the complaints against them has been concluded.
Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, PhD
British Columbia Resident, Canadian Citizen
Associate Professor, School of Social Work and Human Service
Faculty of Education and Social Work Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Elected Senator
Education and Social Work (EDSW) Faculty Council Elected Co-chair
Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) Elected Co-chair Human Rights Committee
Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) Elected Member of Salary and Working Conditions Committee
Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS) Elected Board Director
Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS) Elected Co-chair Social Policy and Advocacy Committee
human services Information Technology association (husITa.org) Elected Board Member
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Life Friend Member (Canada)
International Association Schools of Social Work (IASSW) Individual Life Member (Ukraine)