University of Windsor V.P. of student experience to leave role

The University of Windsor says it has asked its associate vice-president, student experience, to leave his role "In order to support the University’s efforts to rebuild trust and make the meaningful changes necessary to be safer, more inclusive, and more equitable."

Ryan Flannagan asked to leave role after four years

Ryan Flannagan, the associate vice-president student experience at the University of Windsor, has left his role at the university. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

University of Windsor associate vice-president of student experience Ryan Flannagan will leave the role after four years on the job.

University of Windsor President Rob Gordon announced the move in a letter addressed to all students, faculty and staff.

"The University of Windsor is focused on charting the path forward with our students, faculty, staff, and the wider Windsor community. In doing so the University is committed to rebuilding trust and make the necessary changes to become safer, more inclusive, and more equitable," the letter reads.

The letter said the university would consult with the campus community about the process of finding a replacement.

In an email to CBC News, John Coleman, the director of public affairs and communications at the university, said that the university asked Flannagan to leave.

"Ryan has been a crucial member of our team for four years and has made a vital contribution to the University of Windsor," he said. 

The change comes amid recent controversies at the university around racist incidents, including faculty using the n-word in class and members of the Delta Chi fraternity allegedly sent racist, homophobic, and hateful messages in a private online chat.

In a message to university administrators last Thursday, the group RAACES, which stands for of Researchers, Academics & Advocates of Color for Equity in Solidarity, called for Flannagan's removal, among other demands.

Natalie Delia Deckard, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Windsor who is part of RAACES, responded positively to the news of his departure.

"I absolutely felt relief when I read the message," she said. "I believe that we as a university are moving in the right direction with this."

"It's relieving to me as a woman of colour to see an institutional commitment made real."