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

Bad Times at a Great University and Its Law School

When one looks more carefully into the controversy at the University of Toronto Law School over the hiring of a director for the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) and the university’s attem

By Richard Moon

Blog Post

Free Expression on Campus: Assessing the Alberta Ministerial Directive

In the last provincial election, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney joined other Conservative politicians that have purportedly become stalwart defenders of free expression on campus.

By Dax D’Orazio

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

Blog Post

Contest Over “Restructuring” and Collegial Governance at University of Alberta Could Set Dangerous New Precedent Across Canada

All eyes on the University of Alberta! Collegial governance is under attack there, along with the capacity of faculty to exercise their academic freedom rights.

By Carolyn Sale

Blog Post

The Professor, the Petition and the President: Professor Bhabha, B’Nai Brith, and President Lenton

On June 23, 2020, B’Nai Brith issued a press release and posted an online petition calling on York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton to bar Professor Faisal Bhabha from teachin

By Jamie Cameron