Shirkhanzadeh firing won’t proceed to further arbitration

University District

Single mediation session resolves concerns, says Queen’s faculty association and administration

Credit: 
Journal file photo

On Sept. 12, seated around a boardroom table at the Four Points Sheraton, representatives from Queen’s administration, it’s faculty union, and recently-fired professor Morteza Shirkhanzadeh went into a closed session mediation.

The session was intended to discuss grievances regarding the professors termination from Queen’s last month. When speaking to The Journal in the days beforehand, Shirkhanzadeh was under the impression the session would be an arbitration, and therefore open to the public.

However, upon arrival, The Journal learned that the session would instead be a closed mediation.   Information was given about future dates for arbitration taking place in November.

On the evening of Sept. 12, Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) President Lynne Hanson wrote to The Journal that “all matters in dispute proceeded to mediation and were amicably resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.”

The future dates would thereby be cancelled. “The matter is settled,” she clarified via email, “so there won’t be any more arbitration proceedings.”

Shirkhanzadeh declined to comment on the proceedings. When contacted, Queen’s administration agreed with QUFA that all matters in dispute were amicably resolved.

“Dr. Shirkhanzadeh and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) had filed a number of grievances alleging that Queen’s violated principles of academic freedom,” wrote Interim Associate Vice Principal (Faculty Relations) Dan McKeown.

“While the University disputed that any of the grievances filed by or on behalf of Dr. Shirkhanzadeh raised issues of academic freedom, the University is pleased to reiterate its commitment to uphold and protect the principles of academic freedom for him and all members of the academic community at Queen’s.”

The commitment McKeown referenced is set in Article 14 of the collective agreement between the University and QUFA.

 

Read the full story. 

“It’s lonely.”

After eleven years, these were the first two words that Morteza Shirkhanzadeh chose to describe the complex academic and legal case that has handled serious allegations of research misconduct, violated academic freedom, workplace harassment and institutional non-compliance, and which has enveloped the past decade for the Queen’s professor.

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