Canadian Literary Figures Divide Over Ex-Professor

November 28, 2016

Canadian authors and academics are dividing over the case of Steven Galloway (right), an acclaimed novelist who was until last year a tenured professor and chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. The university announced his departure but has never detailed allegations against him. An open letter raising due process concerns about his case has attracted many literary luminaries in Canada. A counterletter criticized the original letter as focused on Galloway's concerns and not those of the woman who was rumored to have brought sex-assault allegations against him.

In the last week, new developments have renewed debate over the case. As The Globe and Mail reported, Galloway made his first comment about the case, releasing a statement through his lawyers stating that he had been investigated by the university -- and cleared of -- the charge of sexual assault. But the statement also acknowledged that Galloway had a two-year affair with a student, in violation of university rules. “Mr. Galloway profoundly regrets his conduct and wishes to apologize for the harm that it has caused,” the statement said.

Another article, however, featured an interview with a lawyer for the woman who brought the complaint (and who has not been named). That lawyer stressed that the allegations were not about a consensual affair, but about sexual harassment and sexual assault.

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