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Concordia announces next steps in response to allegations of sexual misconduct

President Alan Shepard announces three next steps
January 10, 2018

Several allegations have surfaced in the past two days regarding our creative writing program. As I stated earlier this week, we take these allegations very seriously.

It is important to say again that all sexual misconduct is unacceptable, in direct violation of our values and policies, and will not be tolerated.

When Concordia is made aware of allegations of any type of misconduct, those allegations are thoroughly investigated. Following investigation, when warranted, the university imposes disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.

Today, I am announcing three specific actions:

  1. We are launching an investigation into the allegations.

  2. We are meeting this week with students, faculty and staff in the creative writing program to listen, support and chart a path forward. Our goal is to ensure a safe and secure environment within the program, one that is free from sexual misconduct and harassment. These efforts will be coordinated by Dean of Arts and Science André Roy, Deputy Provost Lisa Ostiguy and Vice-Provost of Faculty Relations Nadia Hardy.

  3. We are launching a university-wide assessment of our current environment. This effort is being coordinated by Deputy Provost Lisa Ostiguy, and will draw on the work that we have been doing to improve our policies since 2014, and integrate the new requirements of the Government of Quebec's new legislation regarding sexual violence on campuses (Bill 151). More details about the group's composition and its participatory process will be shared with the community shortly.

I want to reassure the members of our community that this work will be conducted with the utmost respect and confidentiality.

As a reminder, we are encouraging people to report any instances of inappropriate conduct to our Office of Rights and Responsibilities at 514-848-2424, ext. 8659, or by email at

On behalf of the Concordia community, I regret deeply that some alumni and students had the troubling experience they are reporting. Concordia continues to be a strong institution, and we remain committed to strengthening the safety and security of our community.

The actions we are taking today will bring us closer to this goal. We will be as transparent and forthcoming as we can with members of the community and the public. We will release general recommendations of the working group later in 2018, as soon as we can complete our review.

Alan Shepard

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