USFA e-Letter: USFA 2016 Academic Freedom Event April 7

“The Politics of Austerity and Academic Freedom: An Inevitable Collision?”
April 7, 4:00 to 5:45 p.m.
Neatby-Timlin Theatre (241 Arts)

More and more, universities model themselves on corporations: they seek to maximize profitability, productivity, and marketability. As a result, many of the ideals of academic freedom have been eroded, and in some circumstances extinguished, on campuses across Canada.

The austerity agenda means politicians and administrators alike are embracing the private sector’s financial participation in university research and governance—and that has serious repercussions for academic freedom.

 Keynote: Dr. Root Gorelick, Carleton University
“Academic Freedom in University Governance: Blogging and Gagging”

Last December Biology professor Gorelick, a faculty representative on Carleton University’s board of governors, was ordered to sign a confidentiality agreement that forbids public commentary on board business. He refused. Gorelick said the order “flies in the face of academic freedom and is the antitheses of collegial and democratic governance (and) is meant to stifle dissent, openness, accountability and transparency, all of which should be fundamental at any public university. I refuse to allow such corporatization of Carleton to proceed unimpeded.”

 Everyone welcome.