A graduate of Dalhousie University's dentistry school who says he helped blow the whistle on a misogynistic Facebook page wants the school to clear his record as he tries to get a licence to practice.
Ryan Millet has asked Dalhousie president Richard Florizone to expunge his suspension and a disciplinary finding of misconduct after a report was released last week by a task force appointed by the school to look at its handling of comments posted on Facebook by male dentistry students.
The request is made in a letter dated June 30 to Florizone from Millet's lawyer, Bruce MacIntosh, who made it public along with a reply from a lawyer for the university.
In the reply, a lawyer acting for the university in Halifax writes that Florizone cannot "re-write history and pretend" that Millet wasn't involved in a Facebook group at the centre of the scandal or that he wasn't suspended.
The emailed reply, dated Monday, goes on to say that Millet's record reflects that he was found to have engaged in unprofessional conduct and was required to undergo remediation, which he successfully completed.
'Waiting for licensing approval'
Millet has asked for the school to clear his name because he has been offered a position in Oregon and is waiting for licensing approval from the state, but he fears its investigation will require that he be subject to oversight mentoring. MacIntosh says that would disqualify Millet from the job he has been offered.
In his letter to Dalhousie, MacIntosh writes that Millet is living in Utah with his wife and three children at the home of Millet's parents. Millet's wife, a stay-at-home mom, has had to go back to work out of necessity.
"Each passing month of unemployment results in significant lost income, while his student debt continues to accelerate," wrote MacIntosh, noting Millet's student loan debt amounts to about $400,000.
A female student at Dalhousie's dentistry school complained about the Facebook group last December. Dalhousie later suspended the clinic privileges of 13 male students who were allegedly members of the Facebook group.
In January, Millet identified himself as a whistleblower in the case as his lawyer accused the school of treating him unfairly on the eve of a disciplinary hearing. He was later allowed to return to clinical practice and went through a remediation process required by an academic standards committee, which cleared the way for his graduation.
'I am confident that he will be licensed,' writes Dalhousie lawyer
In his letter to Dalhousie, MacIntosh writes that the process used by the faculty of dentistry to make a finding of misconduct against Millet was flawed, and he asks Florizone to "heal the rift that your administration has allowed to develop between Ryan and his alma mater."
In her reply to MacIntosh, lawyer Sally Gomery says the school gave Millet "ample opportunity" to make submissions to the academic standards committee when he challenged his suspension and he did not appeal its decision.
"I regret to hear that Mr. Millet's licensure by the State of Oregon may be delayed but, based on the experience of his classmates, I am confident that he will be licensed," writes Gomery, an Ottawa lawyer hired by Dalhousie to give it legal advice on the Facebook posts.
Check the no box
MacIntosh writes in his letter that the university encouraged him "to advise Ryan to mislead and misinform all licensing authorities to whom he would be applying" by not mentioning his two-month suspension and finding of unprofessionalism.
MacIntosh writes that Millet was advised to check the no box to a question by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners stating: "Have you ever been dropped, suspended, expelled or disciplined by any school or college for any cause whatsoever?"
MacIntosh says he was told by the university "that nothing of the blatant unprofessionalism or indefinite suspension would appear on Ryan's student record, nor would any mention be made of it, if Dalhousie were contacted for a reference check by any licensing authority."