September 16, 2000

Carl Amrhein, Dean,
Faculty of Arts and Science,

University of Toronto

Globe and Mail

Letter to the Editor

Toronto - - Margaret Wente's column about the Kin-Yip Chun case (Sept. 14) serves only to diminish the tangible progress that the University of Toronto, its physics department and Dr. Chun have made in resolving a long-standing and deeply hurtful situation. The Globe's use of an inaccurate headline to refer to a multiracial department is but one example.

The agreement with Dr. Chun is not about racial discrimination. The Ontario Human Rights Commission's decision not to refer the case to a board of inquiry, as well as the university's own exhaustive investigations into Dr. Chun's claims, are unequivocal: The U of T in general and the physics department in particular were not racist in their dealings with Dr. Chun.

The university's investigations did find evidence that Dr. Chun was exploited in his work at the university, however, and over the more than six years of this conflict, the university has been considered and highly public in its wish to find a resolution and get Dr. Chun back to work. The agreement was structured solely to accomplish this and allow a vitally important healing process to begin. The financial portions of the agreement are also consistent with that commitment, and the research start-up funds reflect the real costs of doing research in physics.

Contrary to Ms. Wente's column, Dr. Chun has been appointed to a non-tenure-stream research position, and thus he is not eligible for tenure. But he is eligible to apply for any tenure position for which he is qualified.

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