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

Blog Post

Censorship Has No Place in the University

Recent events at the University of British Columbia show again the powerful allure of censorship as the way to deal with deeply concerning social issues.

By James L Turk

Podcast

Free Expression and National Interests: The Case of China

As U.S. cultural influence slips, China is ramping up its use of cultural, educational and diplomatic initiatives to influence and control expression and its image in Canada and elsewhere.

Podcast

Defunding Difference and Dissent on Campus: Why Should Canadians Care?

Ontario Premier Ford claims to be a champion of free speech but is undermining the ability of students to be heard.

Blog Post

Ontario’s Colleges Embrace Free Speech, Or Do They?

Unlike universities, Ontario’s colleges have resisted making explicit commitments to academic freedom for academic staff and to affirming the foundational importance of freedom of expression for th

By James L Turk

Blog Post

No thank you, Premier Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has carried through with his promise to require universities to develop, implement, and comply with free speech policies that meet his government’s minimum standard in the

By James L Turk