Message from the President Regarding Harassment Complaint

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dear members of the OCAD U community,

OCAD University has a fundamental commitment to equity and diversity. Our top priority is to create a learning environment where students feel safe and supported. We take any kind of harassment on or off campus very seriously and follow up on every complaint that is brought forward.

Recently a student here at OCAD U raised concerns through social media that our processes for investigating complaints weren’t inclusive and didn’t meet that student’s needs.

Details of such complaints are handled confidentially, as required by the law, and so that future complainants know they can bring concerns forward in a safe and respectful environment. However, OCAD U is concerned about the way this case is being presented. Although we are limited in what we can say, we can confirm that we followed all our protocols and processes and we were respectful of the student’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation.

We take this student’s feedback in earnest, as it is always our intention to create an environment where anyone feels comfortable to come forward. It is for that reason we want to take a closer look at our processes and protocols to see where we could do better.

OCAD U is holding a community drop-in for students, faculty and staff on Friday, May 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. in OCAD U’s Health & Wellness Centre (6th floor, 230 Richmond St. W.). We encourage anyone who wishes to discuss our policies and protocols in response to complaints of harassment to attend. Please RSVP to emach@ocadu.ca.  

As an academic institution, we not only support the learning of our students — we too are always learning. Our goal is to foster an environment of openness, transparency and inclusivity, and as an organization that is always learning, we are committed to translating our what we learn into improvements in our policies, protocols and procedures.

Again, our goal, always, is to foster a learning environment where all students can thrive.

Any member of the community with questions related to these policies and procedures is encouraged to contact Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International at dfisher@ocadu.ca.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Sara Diamond, OOnt, RCA
President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University

Update – Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Reflecting our commitment to ensuring an environment where everyone feels comfortable to come forward with safety and well-being concerns, OCAD University continues to take a closer look at our policies and procedures to see where we could do better.

We are currently engaging with members of the university community to better understand their experiences. We held a community drop-in for students, faculty and staff and on Friday May 10 and then extended to Tuesday, May 14 for those who we couldn’t accommodate on the 10th, in order to ensure community members have several opportunities to share their experiences and feedback.

Further, as an academic institution, as we support the learning of our students, we too are always learning. Last week, OCAD University engaged Marisha Roman to lead an independent, third-party review of the University’s response to the complaint and all relevant University policies (including the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy, the Response to Violence and Threatening Behavior Policy and the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy). The review will identify any deficiencies and include recommendations.

Ms. Roman is particularly suited to leading this review, having more than 20 years of  experience in investigations in post-secondary settings.

We are mindful of our responsibility to foster a safe learning environment for all students. It is through consultation with the OCAD community and engaging an independent, third-party review that we wish to ensure our processes for handling complaints are effective and inclusive for everyone.

Left: Eryn Loughheed illustration. Right: Owen Marshall stop sign work. Images Courtesy of the Artists.
These eight emerging bookmakers, photographers, publishers, printmakers and ephemera-enthusiasts will showcase and market their editioned prints, books, or other artworks to a growing audience of over 10,000 artists, curators, collectors, and book-lovers.
Artist Luke Parnell working at rooftop studio, Guanajuato, Mexico
Luke Parnell, Assistant Professor at OCAD University’s Faculty of Art, is taking part as a resident artist at the 2019 Festival Internacional Cervantino  ̶  one of the largest arts festivals in the world. As this year's guest country at the festival, Canada will feature its vibrant and diverse arts sector on the stages and streets of Guanajuato, Mexico. As a resident artist, Parnell is working in a rooftop studio, with the backdrop of Guanajuato, October 13 to 19, 2019.
Dr. Caroline Langill, Vice-President, Academic & Provost, OCAD University, joined higher education and Indigenous leaders at the fifth annual Building Reconciliation Forum held last week at Algoma University – the only university in Canada located on the site of a former residential school.   Jointly hosted by Algoma University, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Nipissing University, Cape Breton University and the University of Northern British Columbia, the forum brought together more than 250 participants including university and Indigenous community leaders, Elders, residential school survivors, partners and students from across the country.I n advance of the fifth anniversary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the forum offered participants a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and share best practices on how to advance reconciliation through higher education and support the healing journey. 
Konstanz Workshop & Lecture
TITLE: ILLOKONSTANZ VOL 01 VENUE: Kulturzentrum, Konstanz, Germany DATES:  October 14 - 19 OCADU Professors Gary Taxali will be exhibiting work and presenting a lecture/workshop along with illustrators Greg Mably (OCADU Professor), Thilo Rothacker, Ellen Weinstein, Marc Burckhardt, and Thomas Fuchs.  
Anson Liaw - Blame It On Me
OCADU Instructor Anson Liaw has been named 1 of 50 winning artists selected by CIRCLE QUARTERLY ART REVIEW magazine.  His artwork will be featured for publication in print and online for the Fall 2019 issue of CIRCLE QUARTERLY ART REVIEW.  Three of his illustration images were selected as winning images and will be featured along with a short artist statement sharing his perspectives.  The Titles of  three illustration images (see below) are:  Title: Blame It On Me Title: Slim Pickings Title: Born Evil
Onomatopee - Diagrams-of-Power-Cover
Edited by Patricio Dávila, and designed by Ali Qadeer and Patricia Pastén  
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Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s flagship professional and public gallery drew a record crowd of more than 8,000 visitors during Nuit Blanche 2019. Toronto’s nightlong celebration of art included nearly 90 art projects by more than 300 artists. Onsite Gallery’s latest exhibition, ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ Among All These Tundras, on now until December 7, 2019, is an international group exhibition that features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. 
Ada Slaight Studios celebration at OCAD University. Photo: Martin Iskander.
The OCAD U community celebrated the completion of the Ada Slaight Studios - one of the first phases of the Creative City Campus. The Slaight Family Foundation has contributed to a revitalization effort that will substantially change the student experience of the 4th floor south Drawing and Painting Studios.   
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dear members of the OCAD U community,

OCAD University has a fundamental commitment to equity and diversity. Our top priority is to create a learning environment where students feel safe and supported. We take any kind of harassment on or off campus very seriously and follow up on every complaint that is brought forward.

Recently a student here at OCAD U raised concerns through social media that our processes for investigating complaints weren’t inclusive and didn’t meet that student’s needs.

Details of such complaints are handled confidentially, as required by the law, and so that future complainants know they can bring concerns forward in a safe and respectful environment. However, OCAD U is concerned about the way this case is being presented. Although we are limited in what we can say, we can confirm that we followed all our protocols and processes and we were respectful of the student’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation.

We take this student’s feedback in earnest, as it is always our intention to create an environment where anyone feels comfortable to come forward. It is for that reason we want to take a closer look at our processes and protocols to see where we could do better.

OCAD U is holding a community drop-in for students, faculty and staff on Friday, May 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. in OCAD U’s Health & Wellness Centre (6th floor, 230 Richmond St. W.). We encourage anyone who wishes to discuss our policies and protocols in response to complaints of harassment to attend. Please RSVP to emach@ocadu.ca.  

As an academic institution, we not only support the learning of our students — we too are always learning. Our goal is to foster an environment of openness, transparency and inclusivity, and as an organization that is always learning, we are committed to translating our what we learn into improvements in our policies, protocols and procedures.

Again, our goal, always, is to foster a learning environment where all students can thrive.

Any member of the community with questions related to these policies and procedures is encouraged to contact Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International at dfisher@ocadu.ca.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Sara Diamond, OOnt, RCA
President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University

Update – Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Reflecting our commitment to ensuring an environment where everyone feels comfortable to come forward with safety and well-being concerns, OCAD University continues to take a closer look at our policies and procedures to see where we could do better.

We are currently engaging with members of the university community to better understand their experiences. We held a community drop-in for students, faculty and staff and on Friday May 10 and then extended to Tuesday, May 14 for those who we couldn’t accommodate on the 10th, in order to ensure community members have several opportunities to share their experiences and feedback.

Further, as an academic institution, as we support the learning of our students, we too are always learning. Last week, OCAD University engaged Marisha Roman to lead an independent, third-party review of the University’s response to the complaint and all relevant University policies (including the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy, the Response to Violence and Threatening Behavior Policy and the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy). The review will identify any deficiencies and include recommendations.

Ms. Roman is particularly suited to leading this review, having more than 20 years of  experience in investigations in post-secondary settings.

We are mindful of our responsibility to foster a safe learning environment for all students. It is through consultation with the OCAD community and engaging an independent, third-party review that we wish to ensure our processes for handling complaints are effective and inclusive for everyone.