A celebrated University of B.C. psychologist who specializes in the science of lying has "agreed to step aside from his teaching duties" after his practice was placed under supervision with a "particular focus on" sexual harassment and boundary issues.

Dr. Stephen Porter has also agreed to issue letters of apology to an unknown number of complainants.

Porter teaches at UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna. According to the university, he is an expert on "deception detection, criminal behaviour, psychopathic personality and behavioural cues to deception."

Unable to supervise students or researchers

In a public notification issued late last month, the college of psychologists said Porter has agreed to a reprimand. His practice will be under the supervision of a fellow registrant for 18 months.

Dr. Stephen Porter

Forensic psychologist Dr. Stephen Porter appeared in this 2013 UBC Okanagan video to talk about the science of lying. (YouTube)

He will not be allowed to supervise students, researchers and volunteers until the person appointed to oversee him "confirms his readiness and then only under their supervision."

The college regulates B.C.'s psychologists under the terms of the province's Health Professions Act.

Porter could not be reached for comment.

Earlier on Friday, UBC said in an email that it was aware of the college's disciplinary notification and that Porter was teaching one class this semester. They referred all other questions about the matter to the regulatory body.

After CBC News published this story outlining the college's decision, the university asked to revise its statement to say Porter "has agreed to step aside from his teaching duties." 

"He will continue to be engaged in his other academic responsibilities," a university spokesperson added. 

The university said it's working with the college "to determine the best course of action with respect to the conditions and limitations placed on Dr. Porter's practice."

Excellence in teaching

Porter received the Canadian Psychological Association's award for distinguished contributions to education and training in 2015 for "excellence in undergraduate and graduate level teaching."

According to the CPA, he received his PhD in forensic psychology at UBC and assumed a teaching position at the university's Okanagan campus in 2009. While at the school, he helped create a graduate clinical psychology program.

Porter has been interviewed about his work by media organizations around the world. 

He has also been consulted by police forces about unsolved criminal investigations and has provided training for law enforcement.

UBC faced heavy criticism in 2015 for its handling of allegations of misconduct against creative writing professor Steven Galloway.

The author of the Cellist of Sarajevo was suspended from his post as head of the creative writing program at the university's Vancouver campus.

Steven Galloway

UBC came under criticism for publicly announcing the suspension of creative writing professor Steven Galloway before the completion of an investigation into allegations of misconduct. (Frances Raud)

The faculty association criticized UBC for publicly announcing Galloway's suspension before an investigation. He was ultimately fired for misconduct, a ruling the faculty association is challenging.

Galloway confirmed he was accused of sexual assault but said the only allegation that was substantiated was that he had a two-year affair with a student; the former student, however, has denied her complaint was about a "consensual affair."