McGill Profs join students to denounce handling of misconduct complaints

After students walked out of class in a bid to have their voices heard, their professors are backing up their demands.

In an open letter sent to McGill University's administration, close to 150 professors and faculty members have called for the university to launch a third-party investigation into the way sexual misconduct complaints involving faculty members were handled.

Students have denounced the administration they say shielded professors about whom there are "open secrets" of sexual misconduct and impropriety among faculty members.

"As teachers, we have a commitment to upholding a learning environment where students feel safe, supported and able to challenge themselves. It would be in violation of this duty for us not to add our voices to those of the students," the letter said.

It added the lack of transparency and mismanagement of the allegations created a toxic work and learning environment. 

The professors are also calling on the university to put in a clear policy that would ban "sexual relationships between students and faculty who are in a position to influence their academic and professional progress."

As with the students, the professors and faculty members want a stand-alone sexual violence policy.

Last week about 1,000 students from McGill and Concordia walked out of their classes to protest the way that both universities have handled a number a sexual misconduct allegations against tenured professors.