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TRU releases full report of allegations of harassment against 2 senior administrators

It's been over a year since Thompson Rivers University released the findings of an investigation into allegations of misconduct against a pair of senior administrators.

On Monday, TRU announced that they had decided to release the complete findings, “based on the conclusion this disclosure is now clearly in the public interest and will help preserve confidence in the university’s governance processes.”

In January 2023, the university said the 500-page, redacted report examined 55 allegations from eight complainants against Matt Milovick, vice-president of finance and administration, and Larry Phillips, associate vice-president of people and culture.

Twenty-two allegations were brought against one of the men and 33 against the other.

Investigators concluded that 10 of the allegations, which were made by four complainants, were substantiated.

Investigators found the remaining 45 allegations were not substantiated.

However, all 22 allegations against one of the men were not substantiated.

In February 2023, Milovick filed a lawsuit in BC Supreme Court against the eight complainants, alleging defamatory statements.

<who> Photo Credit: TRU

In a statement, the Chair of TRU’s Board of Governors Marilyn McLean says the full report could not be released in its entirety in early 2023 due to statutory obligations to protect personal privacy under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

However, in the statement McLean says the lack of full transparency about the report and investigation has made it difficult to engage in community discourse about these events and pathways forward.

“TRU believes these issues can be mitigated if the full report and findings are on the public record,” the statement says.

“This would lead to a more thorough, lasting understanding of the investigation and a better appreciation of the allegations and the findings made in relation to them. This public understanding would help build and maintain public confidence in TRU’s governance processes.”

The university said it is in the public’s interest to release the full report, however, they directed that the names and identities of complainants and witnesses be redacted unless individuals have provided prior consent for the release of their personal information.

According to the statement, a TRU Faculty of Law member had initiated a complaint with BC’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, asking that TRU release the full report to assist the public in understanding the findings.

“The fact that the allegations were so widely shared and continue to be even in 2024 is an important factor in the determination that the full report, including discussion of confidential matters, must now be released in the public interest,” McLean said.

“TRU is not making this disclosure to protect or enhance the institution’s reputation. If that were the motivation, the full report would have been released more than a year ago when there was considerable public and media commentary.”

The cost of this investigation exceeded $1 million. The investigators submitted a final report in December 2022.

Information on accessing the full report can be found here.

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