Now more than ever, those of us involved in delivering academic programs need to pose questions and offer perspectives in order for informed decisions to be made. There needs to be freedom of discussion and the ability to safely offer dissenting opinions and criticisms.
Whether it takes the form of speaking at University Council, providing feedback in response to task force reports or an open letter, we should not be afraid to voice our opinions and express our concerns about TransformUS.
Academic Freedom is a fundamental principle protected by Article 6 in our Collective Agreement. It states that all USFA members, “whether tenured or not and regardless of prescribed doctrine, are entitled to the exercise of their rights as citizens and to freedom in carrying out research and in publishing its results, freedom of discussion, freedom to teach the subject assigned in classes, freedom to criticize the University and the Association without suffering censorship or discipline.” [emphasis added]
The USFA Executive is committed to upholding the rights of members to exercise their academic freedom, including their right to participate fully in collegial decision-making. Attempts to stifle discussion through backlash directed at those who pose questions or offer their perspectives on the process is, in the view of the USFA, a direct attack on the academic freedom of our members.