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Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the right of post-secondary academic staff, without restriction by prescribed doctrine, to use their best professional judgment in their teaching and research; to be able to disseminate the results of their research and scholarship; to acquire, preserve, and provide access to documentary material in all formats; to express their opinions about the institution in which they work; and to exercise their rights as citizens without institutional sanction or censorship.

Blog August 12, 2022

Judges Judging Judges

Justice David Spiro assisted the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), along with B’nai Brith, in blocking an appointment to the Directorship of the Law School’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto. CIJA did not approve of Dr Valentina Azarova’s
Blog October 1, 2021

The Censure of the University of Toronto as a Struggle Over Higher Education

A year ago, a major hiring scandal erupted at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. The scandal broke after the former Law Dean decided not to proceed with the hiring of Dr. Valentina Azarova to direct its International Human Rights Program after a donor and sitting judge objected to her work on Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories.
Blog April 29, 2021

Unrest in Higher Education: An Uncertain Way Forward

Students and faculty from a wide array of minority and marginalized communities are challenging universities on many fronts.  Contentious topics include tuition costs, admissions standards, traditions and symbols, culturally responsive curricula, student supports, campus security, accommodations for disability and family status, academic freedom, the right to protest, gender identity recognition, intellectual diversity, and more.
Blog April 26, 2021

“Safe Space” Classrooms within “Communities of Care”

There is a lot of talk (and some action) around safe spaces these days. While not in any way downplaying the needs for sanctuary even in a prosperous country like Canada, and for venues where one can exercise democratic and expressive rights without fear of violence or other forms of intimidation and attempted silencing, I would like to register a caveat about the colloquial tendency to conflate “space” and “place” and use these terms interchangeably in talking about post-secondary education and the harms currently attributed to it.