Montalbano to step down as chair of UBC Board of Governors

The UBC Board of Governors has accepted a request from its Chair, John Montalbano, to ask Vice-Chair Alice Laberge to take over his duties.

A statement detailing this change of leadership was released tonight at 9:07 p.m.

Laberge will remain as Acting Chair for the duration of the Fact Finding Process agreed to by the university and the Faculty Association. The process will look into concerns voiced by the Faculty Association, regarding allegations that Montalbano infringed upon the academic freedom of Sauder professor Jennifer Berdahl.

A joint statement was released earlier today by the university and the Faculty Association agreeing to the process.

“Mr. Montalbano intends to fully participate in the process that will be undertaken by the Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.C. and wants to ensure the integrity of the process is not hindered by his performing the duties of Chair,” read the statement.

The Fact Finding Process will investigate "whether Mr. John S. Montalbano … and/or individuals in the Sauder School of Business identified by the Faculty Association, conducted themselves in the events following Professor Jennifer Berdahl's publication of her blog on August 8th, 2015 in a manner that violated any provision of the Collective Agreement, the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment, or any applicable University policies including whether her academic freedom is or was interfered with in any way."

Montalbano will remain as a member of the Board during the Fact Finding Process. It is not yet clear whether he will be returning as chair or not.

This article was updated at 10:12pm on August 25th to include quotes from the Fact Finding Process Terms of Reference.