Trigger warning: the following communication discusses sexualized violence and a criminal charge of sexual assault.
Dear King’s community,
It has been four weeks since Dr. Wayne Hankey has been charged with sexual assault in a King’s residence in 1988. I promised a third-party independent review to determine the facts and an appropriate response, conducted in a way that is respectful of the criminal justice system.
Today, I write to tell you that King’s has appointed well-respected Toronto lawyer, Janice Rubin, and her firm Rubin Thomlinson LLP to conduct the Review. Janice Rubin is widely acknowledged as a leading authority on workplace harassment in Canada. She is a pioneer in the field of workplace investigations, assessments and reviews. Additionally, Janice has identified Elizabeth Bingham as the colleague at Rubin Thomlinson LLP who will assist her with the Review. They proceed with our full confidence and support.
The Terms of Reference for the Review can be read here and were developed in consultation with Janice Rubin and others, including representative leadership groups from within our community including students, faculty, staff, alumni and board.
We have also been cooperating with the Halifax Police, who contacted King’s last month asking for employee records pertaining to Dr. Hankey, and who will be providing the necessary production order with the legal authority to require the provision of this otherwise confidential information. King’s has gathered the available information. One document that is no longer available is the report from the committee that looked into the charges that led to Dr. Hankey being disciplined by King’s in 1991. While there is institutional memory about the work of this committee and ancillary documents pertaining to the committee’s work, a comprehensive search led us to conclude that the university’s copy of the report has not existed for a number of years. The scope of the Review is broad enough to include this matter.
The university will not be saying anything that could interfere with the credibility and effectiveness of the Review. From this day forward, Janice Rubin and her team will determine how they do their work, not the university. As their work gets underway, more will be communicated about their process. In the meantime, I have been asked to share that they have set up a dedicated email address for the Review, email@example.com, should anyone wish to reach out to them on a confidential basis.
Please also be reminded that King’s has a policy and supports in place for any member of our King’s community who has experienced sexualized violence, or who has found this news difficult, to come forward to get the support you need, knowing that you will be treated with dignity and respect. King’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer, Jordan Roberts, Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org, is at King’s and available to provide confidential services and support to community members who need it.
With this announcement and the sharing of the Terms of Reference, King’s will be fully transparent. As the Review moves forward, be assured that our silence is born of respect for the process and not any avoidance of it.
This has been difficult for our community. In my responses to the students and alumni who have contacted me, I have emphasised the responsibility of King’s to be both factual and fair. When the Review concludes you will hear from King’s again. And at that time, King’s will be as transparent as the law allows. I am determined that future generations will not find us wanting. The University of King’s College is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for everyone; one that is free of discrimination, harassment and all forms of violence.
President and Vice-Chancellor