A Brock University professor that was kicked from the classroom over an investigation into alleged sexual harassment nearly three years ago is returning to teach on campus next week, the university said on Thursday.
A Dec. 14 decision by an arbitrator permits Professor David Schimmelpenninck to teach, “pursuant to the university’s collective agreement with its faculty association” a Brock statement read.
The professor will have to follow a set of conditions placed by the administration, that Brock said Schimmelpenninck has agreed to, including “completing coaching for respectful workplace practices”.
The statement says that the professor has been absent since March 2016 “as a result of discipline” tied to the harassment probe, related health issues and “accrued academic leave”.
Brock disclosed he had returned to campus during the summer of 2018, but was not scheduled to teach in the fall term. However, the arbitration by Kevin Burkett will allow Schimmelpenninck to administer a second-year course for the winter semester.
The Avro Post was able to verify that Schimmelpenninck will be carrying out the non-non-compulsory HIST 2P64, formally titled “War and Peace in the Modern Age” in a lecture format from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
The statement from the university added that Brock “appreciates that the 2016 incident was a difficult chapter for the University community”, adding that “significant steps” were taken to address well-being on campus.
Several students expressed their disappointment to the news on Thursday via social media.
“What good does it do updating a sexual harassment policy if you allow sexual assaulters access to students?” user @Ecosby121 asked on Twitter.
“Hi everyone, since Brock University deems it reasonable to rehire a sexual assaulter and have him teach classes, then it’s surely reasonable for me to openly voice my disgust and encourage you all to spread the world about it,” Tsipporah Shendroff said.
“If they aren’t ashamed, then neither am I.”
The Avro Post is attempting to contact the Brock University Student Union, Professor David Schimmelpenninck and the administration for further comment.
It was an “unwelcome sexual advance” on a female student after Schimmelpennink invited her and a friend back to his office back in October 2014 that led to the investigation and resulting discipline.
After drinking with a few students at a campus bar, the professor had invited a female and her male friend back to his office to continue consuming alcohol.
The male student left the office at some point in the evening. After that, Schimmelpenninck “shut the door and came and sat next to me and that’s when the incident occurred”, the female told CBC News in 2016.
A lawyer hired by Brock found that the occurrence “involved an unwelcome sexual advance, inappropriate and unwelcome touching, comments of a sexual nature” and an attempt to have continued relations.
More details to follow. Image of Brock University from Brock University.