I am writing to advise you that the administration of King’s University College has withdrawn the ban it had imposed on Prof. Ken Luckhardt. Accordingly, CAUT will not be proceeding with censure of the administration of King’s at the spring Council.
The entire matter arose in late January 2012 in response to a letter and subsequent email exchange with the King’s administration with regard to the future of a King’s program Luckhardt felt was in danger. A colleague filed a complaint against Luckhardt for what he had written in his correspondence with the administration. Ten days after a complaint was filed against Prof. Luckhardt, through a letter from his lawyer, Prof. Luckhardt offered, “in the interest of de-escalating the matter” to agree to the remedy asked by the complainant. Specifically he affirmed that he would not make “any more denigrating comments concerning, or directed towards, the complainant.” This offer was ignored and the university’s investigator proceeded with his inquiry, resulting, two months later, in a report that led the Administration to ban Professor Luckhardt from campus.
The CAUT ad hoc investigatory committee, the CAUT Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, the CAUT Executive and the CAUT Council all disagreed with the investigator’s characterization of Prof. Luckhardt’s original letter and email to the senior administration as harassment of colleagues, and began the censure process in response to the administration’s refusal to lift the ban on Luckhardt.
To his credit, Prof. Luckhardt agreed to reiterate the undertaking he had offered at the beginning of the controversy, namely, that he would not make any more denigrating comments concerning, or directed towards the complainant. This time, two years later, the University administration, accepted Professor Luckhardt’s affirmation and lifted the ban.
We are pleased that the matter is settled.
James L. Turk
Executive Director / Directeur Général
Canadian Association of University Teachers / Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université