Sexual harassment complaint filed against UPEI president

Ryan Ross
Published on January 25, 2013
Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz is facing allegations of sexual harassment after a university employee filed a human rights complaint against him.

Tom Cullen, chairman of UPEI’s board of governors, said he couldn’t provide much information about the complaint but did confirm the board was aware of it.

“There has been a harassment complaint lodged with the human rights commission and we are cooperating with that process,” he said.

As for the nature of the complaint, Cullen said it involved allegations of inappropriate comments between colleagues.

None of the allegations have been proven and the complaint has not gone before a human rights panel for a hearing.

Once a complaint is filed, the commission’s executive director can work with both parties to find a resolution or he can dismiss the claim if he finds the complaint has no merit.

If the complaint proceeds and the two sides can’t come to a resolution it will then go before a panel for a hearing.

In the meantime, Abd-El-Aziz is still on the job and Cullen said the board of governors has determined it wasn’t necessary for him to take a leave of absence.

“With the information that is available to the board of governors, we have determined that at this time,” he said.

Cullen referred further questions to the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

The Guardian contacted Greg Howard, the commission’s executive director, who said he couldn’t confirm or deny if a complaint was filed.

Normally information about filed complaints is available, but the executive director can withhold information at the request of the complainant or respondent.