Statement on the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre

The recent improper and unauthorized use of the name of the University of Alberta’s Sexual Assault Centre in endorsing an open letter has raised understandable concerns from members of our community and the public. Effective immediately, the director of the centre is no longer employed by the university. The university has appointed a new interim director of the Sexual Assault Centre.

I want to be clear that the former employee’s personal views and opinions do not in any way represent those of the University of Alberta. The University of Alberta stands firmly and unequivocally against discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, and other protected categories. We recognize the historical and ongoing harms of antisemitism and commit to doing all we can as a university to advance a world free of prejudice and discrimination. The services provided by the university, particularly those supporting the well-being and health of community members, must be open and welcoming to all individuals in our diverse community. The new leadership at the Sexual Assault Centre is committed to swiftly implementing the changes required to ensure this university commitment is upheld.

I understand that this event has been profoundly hurtful and may have compromised the trust of individuals in our community. I also recognize the significant potential negative impact given the critical nature of the centre’s work. On behalf of the university, I apologize for the hurt and distress this issue has caused members of our community and beyond. As a university, we commit to continued action to restore your trust.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-Chancellor