Nov 15, 2016

By Michael Kramer

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Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Madeleine Thien are among the famous Canadian authors whose names are attached to an open letter – demanding an external investigation of the University of British Columbia’s firing of Steven Galloway.

The acclaimed Vancouver-based writer was removed from his position as head of the creative writing department in June – after a months-long probe into allegations of misconduct.

The publisher for author Joseph Boyden confirmed that he spearheaded a group effort to write and circulate the open letter – although not all those on the list could be reached to confirm their support.

Boyden is is the author of the award-winning novel Through Black Spruce.

He sent an email to writers asking for their signatures, saying the open letter “does not draw conclusions about guilt or innocence, but focuses on a process that ill-served complainants and Mr. Galloway.”

The letter criticizes the university for publicizing last year that Galloway was suspended pending an investigation of “serious allegations,” casting a “cloud of suspicion” over the professor.

The university appointed former B.C. Supreme Court judge Mary Ellen Boyd to investigate the allegations against Galloway – but it has refused to make the findings of her report public.

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