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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2000

Call for Board of Inquiry in Chun Case

Professor Kin-Yip Chun, vindicated by a Feb.1, 2000 report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, is still waiting for a resolution of his long-standing dispute with the University of Toronto.

A report published more than a year ago by CAUT's Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee concluded Chun had been unfairly treated and there was a prima facie case of systemic discrimination. Professor Chun, a world-renowned Chinese-Canadian geophysicist, was denied a tenure track appointment in the department of physics.

Pat O'Neill, chair of the AF&T committee, wrote recently to Keith Norton, chief commissioner of the OHRC, asking that "the Human Rights Commission appoint a Board of Inquiry for a hearing into this matter." O'Neill noted that "this case has important implications for universities across the country. It is very important that these allegations be adjudicated."

O'Neill also wrote to Robert Prichard, president of the University of Toronto, urging that the university either settle the matter fairly with Chun or support the expeditious appointment of an OHRC board of inquiry.

Meanwhile, the University of Toronto has attacked the Human Rights Commission's case analysis. The university's 87-page response claims the analysis "is riddled with factual errors, is incomplete in many respects, and contains misleading statements of fact." The university opposes referring Chun's complaint to a hearing before a board of inquiry appointed by the commission.

The AF&T committee maintains that the only fair way to settle this complaint is through arbitration or a full review by a board of inquiry.

Background: Bulletin Reports February 1999 & February 2000.