Concordia prof suspended over "threatening" behaviour
Published Wednesday, October 13, 2010 7:43AM EDT
MONTREAL - A philosophy professor at Concordia University has been suspended for what the university is calling "threatening" behaviour.
The suspension comes after a year-long feud, with Vesselin Petkov saying he has been the target of academic bullying by colleagues.
Petkov objects to his suspension, and has filed a grievance against the school.
"It is not based on evidence," said Petkov. "They don't have anything that even resembles a piece of evidence. This is based on claims coming from people who were involved in what I have evidence for -- academic mobbing at Concordia."
The university says the philosophy professor was suspended for making unfounded allegations against the administration and those reviewing his case.
Of particular concern, the university said Tuesday, were so-called repeated references to Valery Fabrikant in letters sent to the school administration. Fabrikant is the Concordia mechanical engineering professor who murdered four colleagues in 1992.
"This is an exceptional step, one which is used very sparingly and only under exceptional circumstances. Dr. Petkov's behaviour, however, is inappropriate and is perceived as threatening by some members of the Concordia community," the university said in a statement.
"We take this very seriously and believe the suspension is justified. The university has taken all of the appropriate steps in dealing with this situation."
In an open letter sent Monday, Petkov called for the resignation of the Concordia's president, Judith Woodsworth, saying the decision to suspend him was not based on facts.
Petkov has doctorates in both physics and philosophy, and studied at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, Concordia and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.