Dalhousie professor on dentistry report: ‘I’m not totally satisfied’
WATCH ABOVE: Dalhousie faculties still have questions after report
HALIFAX – Law Professor Wayne MacKay feels Dalhousie still needs to do more work to repair the damage from the dentistry Facebook group scandal.
“I’m not totally satisfied, I think there’s a lot of really good things, and this is a good process. But I do think there’s still an important, strong message that needs to be sent, that this is just not acceptable conduct and that it will not be tolerated at Dalhousie. And I’m not sure this report clearly sends that message,” said MacKay.
The report outlines the restorative justice process used by the university in the wake of the controversy caused by the once private social media group called the “Class of DDS 2015 Gentleman.”
The report found that Dalhousie Dentistry School’s standards for professionalism were “inconsistent,” there were “rumours of favoritism” and that “inappropriate relationships abounded.”
While MacKay said the report represents a “thorough and substantial” investigation, he said it will be difficult for the public to see where the real consequences are.
“There will be, I think, the general public saying, ‘Well really the individuals didn’t bear much of a consequence for this fairly outrageous conduct.’ How does that send a message from Dalhousie that this is really unacceptable?” MacKay said.
“I personally think probably… there should have perhaps been delay in graduation for some of them and perhaps some distinctions between the different roles played.”
In December Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone said there would be “significant consequences” for the men involved in the Facebook group. But on Friday, the report said the restorative justice process focused on “education over punishment.”
“The men have taken ownership of their actions and gained a deep understanding of the harm that was caused,” Florizone said at a Friday press conference. “They’ve apologized to those most directly impacted.”
Dalhousie Professor Francoise Baylis also said she had concerns about the university’s report on the restorative justice process.
“A significant concern I have with the report is that the concerns of the four women who did not agree to participate in the University’s restorative justice process are not addressed and their voice has been silenced,” she said. “No responsibility has been taken by the administration for the fact that their concerns have not been addressed.”
However, Law Professor Jennifer Llewellyn said students who opted out of the restorative justice process were still accommodated.
“We know that they chose not to participate. There are some that have come out and said that it is because it wasn’t the right process for them, and we tried to make sure as a university that there were processes available for them if they wished to address the issue,” Llewellyn said.
In January the university launched the independent Task Force on Misogyny, Sexism and Homophobia in the Faculty of Dentistry. That report is expected by the end of June.
– With files from James Armstrong, Global News
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