Crandall University, a private Christian post-secondary institution in Moncton, N.B., has terminated the employment of prominent theologian John Stackhouse Jr. following a six-month investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Stackhouse, known for his work on feminism and Christianity, was a celebrated professor with significant contributions in academic and media circles.
Investigation Sparked by Social Media Allegations
The investigation was initiated after an Instagram account, “dobettercrandall,” posted accounts of alleged harassment, predominantly involving one professor. CBC News confirmed, through multiple members of the Crandall community, that the professor in question was John Stackhouse Jr. These allegations surfaced shortly after Stackhouse was honoured with a teaching award by the university in March.
University’s Decisive Action
Responding to an online petition calling for an investigation, Crandall’s board hired labour lawyer Joel Michaud to conduct an inquiry. The findings, summarized on the university’s website, revolved around a faculty member, identified by CBC News as Stackhouse, based on key details in the report. The summary detailed interactions with certain female students that created an unwelcoming environment and anxiety, amounting to “sexual harassment” and “bordered on abuse of authority.”
Evidence of Grooming
A student submitted around 100 pages of emails from the professor, spanning seven months, which the investigator described as a “classic case” of grooming. The professor acknowledged the inappropriateness of this “banter” and admitted it was “unbecoming of a professor.”
Past Conduct in Question
The investigation also revealed a reluctance from the faculty member to discuss any past sexual harassment complaints at previous institutions. When directly questioned about this, the professor responded, “I do not see how it’s in my interest to answer that question.”
University’s Response and Future Commitments
Following the board meeting, Crandall University announced the termination of Stackhouse’s employment. In a release, senior leaders of Crandall expressed deep regret to all students and committed to strengthening harassment policies with inputs from students and the university community.