Academic Freedom

The Issue

Academic freedom at Canada’s post-secondary institutions is being seriously undermined. A significant proportion of university and college academic staff are being hired into contingent positions lacking the job security that makes protection of academic freedom feasible. In response to chronic underfunding, universities have agreed to fundraising deals and collaborative projects that compromise academic integrity and academic freedom. Universities are actively implementing codes of conduct and respectful workplace policies that attempt to regulate speech permissible under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Why It Matters

The public mission of the university is to advance and disseminate knowledge, educate students, and encourage critical thinking and free expression. These ends cannot be achieved without academic freedom.

Our Work

The Centre engages in public education about the nature and importance of academic freedom. It highlights current threats and works to ensure that academic freedom rights are extended to all academic staff.

Resources

Upcoming Event

Anti-Black Racism and Language

Vershawn Young - In Conversation with Awad Ibrahim​

Podcast

Anti-Black Racism and Inequality: What Is to Be Done?

Adolph Reed, Jr. - In Conversation with Umair Muhammad

BPC Bulletins

BPC Bulletin: High-School History Workbook in Montreal Challenged

November 15, 2020 - In October 2020, two English-language school boards in Montreal decided to temporarily withdraw a high-school history workbook that includes a racial epithet. They also decided to put opaque stickers over the epithet.

Blog Post

Freedom of Information, Universities & Transparency: Lessons from Emily Eaton and the University of Regina

Access to information (ATI) is animated by a simple principle: the public ought to know.

By Dax D’Orazio

News

Zoom and YouTube Threaten Academic Freedom

The Centre for Free Expression, along with its co-signers BCCLA, CAUT, CCLA, and PEN Canada, have written today to the CEOs of Zoom and YouTube to express deep concern with the companies’ censorshi

October 15, 2020