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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2006

Censure of Dalhousie Postponed

Consideration of censuring Dalhousie University was postponed after CAUT Council learned of written commitments from Dalhousie University president Tom Traves to address concerns raised by CAUT regarding Gabrielle Horne and Michael Goodyear, both of whom are professors at Dalhousie.

After three years of silence about Horne’s and Goodyear’s career-threatening treatment by the university’s affiliated teaching hospital, the Capital District Health Authority, Traves wrote in January to the CDHA board chair publicly expressing concern about the treatment of the two faculty members.

Two months later, following a unanimous vote by the Dalhousie senate to express “profound concern” about the extended delay in dealing with the CDHA charges against Horne and Goodyear and asking Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald to intervene “to ensure that justice is done,” Traves wrote the premier and called on him to act.

“I believe only the power of your office remains available to create fresh momentum,” Traves wrote. “I very much hope that you can facilitate the resolution of a problem that undermines the operation of the university and the hospital and our ability to serve the people of Nova Scotia.”

Both CAUT and the Dalhousie Faculty Association had called for the university administration to speak out publicly on the cases and to take steps to ameliorate the situations of Horne and Goodyear until the CDHA issues were resolved.

In the case of Horne, this meant dealing with her promotion application that has been delayed by the university for several years, and for Goodyear it meant financial assistance as the hospital had cut off his salary, leaving him with the 15 per cent paid by the university and forcing him into bankruptcy.

In meetings with faculty association president Jerry Singleton just before Council’s April meeting, Traves gave a written assurance that he would render a decision regarding Horne’s promotion by June 1, and he invited professor Goodyear to propose appropriate employment opportunities at the university.

“We hope the university will act to assist its two faculty members during this very difficult time,” said CAUT president Greg Allain. “Had they done so originally, the issue of censure would never have arisen.”

CAUT executive director James Turk said CDHA had “dragged out its procedures for an unconscionable period of time.

“The procedures at the Capital District Health Authority, which should have been concluded within one month in 2002, have been dragged out for more than three-and-a-half years, threatening to destroy the careers of two medical faculty members.

“The only independent inquiry into the charges against professor Horne, conducted by a panel of experts appointed by the District Medical Staff Association, concluded that there was no documentation to support the charges and called for the reinstatement of Horne’s full privileges.”

Turk stressed that CAUT will do everything possible “to ensure that the mistreatment of Horne and Goodyear is brought to a rapid, fair and just conclusion.”