Toronto

Margaret Wente resigns from Massey College appointment

Former Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente has resigned from a position with Toronto's Massey College following controversy over her appointment.

Governing board received resignation letter after college announced review of appointment

Massey College's governing board says it has received a letter from Margaret Wente, above, saying she does not wish to be a member of the Quadrangle Society and that accusations against her are false and outrageous. (Margaret Wente/Globe and Mail)

Former Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente has resigned from a position with Toronto's Massey College following controversy over her appointment.

The governing board of the college, affiliated with the University of Toronto, said in a message on its website on Monday that the college has received a letter of resignation from Wente.

The letter was submitted after Massey College Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers announced last Thursday the college would review Wente's writings and conduct "in response to new information" related to her appointment. 

Wente was one of several people in various fields named a member of the college's Quadrangle Society.

"The College has now received a letter from Ms. Wente stating that she does not wish to be a member of the Quadrangle Society, that the accusations against her are false and outrageous and that her record speaks for itself," the governing board said in the message.

The news of her appointment sparked a petition signed by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors, urging the college to rescind the post due to her history of inflammatory columns dealing with race and multiple accusations of plagiarism.

It also prompted U of T professor Alissa Trotz to resign from the nomination committee with a strongly worded letter that called into question "non-transparent mechanisms of selection."

The governing board said it met on Monday and decided to accept Wente's resignation, saying it wants to rethink how the college "interacts and operates in order to eliminate any impediments to an environment that is completely free from anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-gender identity views and discrimination of any kind."

Massey College is a graduate students' residential community affiliated with the University of Toronto but independent from it.

When Des Rosiers announced the 2020-2021 incoming senior members to Massey College on the school's website, she said they "will contribute to the intellectual life of the College."

With files from The Canadian Press

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