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Statement regarding the handling of harassment complaints

Regarding the discussion in the media about the harassment complaint filed by University Teacher Saara Ilvessalo.

Åbo Akademi University has held talks with the parties involved in the case, especially with Saara Ilvessalo. In addition, we have worked to develop our processes and have trained our staff to better deal with issues relating to discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Åbo Akademi distances itself from all forms of inappropriate treatment and sexual harassment. We have worked diligently on these issues for many years.

Despite this, things are not necessarily done right every time. Following discussions held during the fall, it has become clear that the process has primarily been focused on the legal aspects of the case and as such has failed to reflect our values and ambitions.

We would like to apologise to Saara Ilvessalo for the suffering our inadequate actions have caused her.

As an employer, Åbo Akademi wants to improve and create a working and study environment that guarantees psychological security for everyone. This is something we are actively working on.

Mikael Lindfelt, Rector, Åbo Akademi University
Heidi Backman, Director of University Services, Åbo Akademi University