Living our Values – 2

The Executive of USFA met recently with representatives of the University to exchange views on the Living Our Values document, about which we informed you recently.

The discussion was lively, but also productive, and we appreciated the opportunity to share thoughts on this matter.

The document is a work in progress, but you may wish to share your views with your elected representatives in the USFA and University Council. First and foremost, the value USFA wishes to promote is academic freedom.

CAUT argues that at meetings of Universities Canada (formerly, the Association of University and Colleges Canada), presidents have whittled away at the definition of academic freedom, we suggest that the current CAUT policy statement on academic freedom, reviewed every five years or so, is well worth a read at this time. Observers state that the USFA’s article on academic freedom served as a model for at least one article in this statement, which is stronger than clauses at other universities and serves as a bulwark against the University of Saskatchewan Act, which only says that “the board, senate and council are responsible for determining the manner in which the university shall fulfill its primary role having regard to … the recognized principles of academic freedom”.

To put it succinctly: academic freedom for U of S faculty is defined nowhere else but in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, by you, at ratification meetings, from time to time. As we move forward, we would like as many eyes as possible on all of these documents. You can share your views with USFA simply by replying to this letter.