In the light of recent media reports, I want to reaffirm our Department’s very strong commitment to preventing and combatting all forms of sexual violence and sexual harassment. This commitment is fuelled not only by considerations of law and University policy, but by the values articulated in our 2014 departmental statement on equity and inclusion, according to which “a commitment to the values of collegiality, respect, and sensitivity is not ancillary to the philosophical enterprise,” but instead “something that grows out of a proper appreciation for the nature and difficulty of philosophical activity itself.” Sexual harassment and sexual violence, along with racial discrimination and other forms of targeted hostility, are profoundly antithetical to the values we seek to uphold. We as a Department condemn such behaviour in the strongest terms as not only contrary to law and University policy, but as striking at the heart of the principles of respect and inclusion that we regard as central to our educational mission and to the practice of philosophy. Equally strongly we support the campus processes through which allegations of policy violation are investigated and resolved.
March 23, 2017