Acadia University confirmed Friday it has fired Rick Mehta. (Robert Short/CBC) Acadia University has fired tenured professor Rick Mehta, a move that comes months after a formal investigation was launched into complaints over controversial comments he made on social media and in the classroom.
The university confirmed Friday that Mehta has been let go, but Acadia spokesperson Scott Roberts refused to comment on what led to the firing and said it was a "personnel matter."
Mehta, an associate professor of psychology, has been outspoken on a range of contentious issues including decolonization, multiculturalism, immigration, the wage gap, gender and Indigenous rights.
In a letter in February, Heather Hemming, vice-president academic at the Wolfville, N.S., school, said that students, faculty and others were concerned about his views.
"These concerns relate to the manner in which you are expressing views that you are alleged to be advancing or supporting and, in some instances, time that you are spending on these issues in the classroom," she said in a letter on Feb. 13.
"The university has a legal responsibility to provide an environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment and personal harassment."
Mehta has billed himself as a free-speech advocate trying to build bridges across political divides, but critics have argued he perpetuates harmful stereotypes and is simply seeking attention.
He has come under fire for saying multiculturalism is a scam, there’s no wage gap between men and women, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has created a victim narrative to prompt "endless apologies and compensation." Faculty association unhappy
CBC has not yet been able to reach Mehta for comment.
The Acadia University Faculty Association said in a release on Friday it learned of the dismissal on Aug. 31.
The faculty association said it has filed for arbitration.
"The termination of a tenured professor is very serious, and AUFA has filed for arbitration while its senior grievance officer and legal counsel examine the administration’s disciplinary procedures and evidence."
With files from Canadian Press
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