University of Toronto statement
September 26, 2013
On Wednesday September 25th, the University of Toronto and Victoria College learned of comments made by David Gilmour, a noted Canadian author and journalist, relating to his literary preferences and choice of teaching materials. Mr. Gilmour is not a member of the University of Toronto faculty. However, Mr. Gilmour teaches University of Toronto students taking an elective seminar course through Victoria College.
Mr. Gilmour’s comments have received a great deal of attention through both traditional and social media. The administration has heard from faculty, staff, students and alumni alike who were understandably dismayed by the remarks made in his recent interview.
One might hope that, in a university environment, teachers would encourage respectful airing of differences of opinion, and that, by airing their own views in a respectful way, they would encourage students to examine critically their own beliefs as well as those of their teachers and classmates.
Mr. Gilmour has since apologized in several venues for the offensive implications of his remarks. The University and Victoria College will also ensure that students in his class are under no misapprehensions that Mr. Gilmour’s literary preferences may be translated into assumptions about their innate abilities.
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University of Toronto Media Relations