CAUT investigation launched into U of C academic freedom controversy

by Faculty Association | Filed under December 2015.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is undertaking a formal investigation into alleged academic freedom violations at the University of Calgary. The decision follows a CBC investigation into the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability that raised concerns about inappropriate corporate influence. The Faculty Association supports this investigation, which we understand will be broader in scope than the investigation announced by the Board of Governors as it will look at systemic issues beyond the Enbridge Centre.

The CAUT investigatory committee will be asked to look into charges of conflict of interest, violations of academic freedom, and donor interference surrounding the establishment and operation of the Enbridge Centre.

The committee will also investigate the circumstances involving the departure of the first Director of the Centre to determine if academic freedom was infringed, and consider other issues related to the management of donations at the University of Calgary.

The investigatory committee will be chaired by Dr. Len Findlay, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan.  Other members of the committee are Dr. Alison Hearn, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario; and Dr. Gus Van Harten, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

CAUT has conducted more than 40 academic freedom investigations since 1958.

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