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.


Blog Post

Academic Freedom and Perceptions of Harm

Something very wrong has happened at the University of Alberta. A professor has been fired from part of her academic job for views on sex and gender that break with current orthodoxy.

By Carolyn Sale

Blog Post
Past Event

CFE Virtual Forum Series: Who is ‘Free’ to Speak of “Genocide”? Perspectives on Reclaiming Power and Place

Panelists: Cyndy Baskin, Len Findlay, Lynn Lavallée

Moderator: Karyn Pugliese

Blog Post

A Cautionary Tale: Dangers to Collegial Governance in the Time of COVID-19

On March 19th, the Executive of the General Faculties Council at the University of Alberta took the unusual step of acting on delegated authority, at a special meeting, to refuse to gran

By Carolyn Sale

Blog Post

New Hotline to Assist Students Approached by CSIS Addresses a Problem Neither New nor Unprecedented

Co-Authored by Nader Hasan

On November 12, 2018, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper, The Varsity, reported that Muslim Student Association executives had been regularly receiving surprise visits from RCMP and CSIS agents regularly since 2016. Since the events of 9/11 in the United States, security and intelligence officials have taken an interest in Muslim Students Associations (MSAs) across universities in both Canada and the United States.

By Anver M. Emon