{Published by the University of Waterloo administration on its website from June 1994 until the summer of 1998, and as part of a file from the UW Gazette since June 1994; published since July 2003 by Kenneth Westhues, Professor of Sociology, University of Waterloo, as part of the Documentary History of the UW Ethics Committee, 1982-1998.)


Public Apology
K. Westhues, Professor of Sociology,
University of Waterloo
Dear Colleague: In response to your complaint, an Ethics Hearing
Committee of the University of Waterloo (Professor Sally Gunz as chair,
Professor Don Brodie, Ms. Patti Haygarth), on the basis of its
interpretation of UW Policy 33, has ruled that in my letter to
Professor Gail Grant of 15 March 1994 (in which I identified you as
"Jane Jones"), I attacked your competence and character. The committee
has judged my earlier apologies to you to be "not unequivocal," and
"reluctant at best," and it has recommended that I
be required to write an apology - including a correction of any
misleading or incorrect statements - to be distributed to recipients of
the March 15 letter, to the Gazette and via the Internet. Prior to its
distribution/circulation, the response would be vetted by the
By letter to me of 18 May 1994, the UW Vice President Academic &
Provost, Professor Jim Kalbfleisch, has accepted the committee's
I hereby publicly apologize for having addressed you rudely,
offensively, and in a manner that you experienced as intimidation, in
private conversations on 11 and 12 November 1993, following the
decision of a committee you chaired to fail a doctoral student working
under my supervision. I sincerely regret if any of my communications
since that time has been understood by any reader as an attack on your
integrity or professional competence.
I stated in my letter of 15 March that you telephoned me on the
day after the exam. It is true that I had tried to telephone you
earlier that day. There had been no answer, I had left no message, and
I was unaware that you had telephone equipment by which to record my
number. You have pointed out that, because you recognized my number on
your equipment, you understood yourself to be returning my call. I do
not dispute your assertion.
I realize that certain other statements in my letter of 15 March
may be understood to reflect badly on you. Having supported your
appointment to our department in 1991, I reaffirm my high regard for
your scholarly achievements. I consider you a fair-minded person. I
respect your competence, your character, and your right to disagree
with me about the procedures and outcome of the 11 November exam, and
of subsequent events in our department.
K. Westhues 31 May 1994