Global Survey of Academic Freedom Issues in 2015 [Post 1 of a Series]


Canada—University of British Columbia [Part 1]

After Arvind Gupta suddenly resigned as the president of the University of British Columbia, Jennifer Berdahl, a faculty member at the university, wrote a blog post in which she discussed the possibility that the president’s sudden departure had been linked to an entrenched lack of diversity at the university. Although the blog post generated some controversy, it was quickly superseded by the charge that John Montalbano, the chair of the institution’s Board of Trustees, had impinged on Berdahl’s academic freedom when he questioned her about the post. What is especially interesting about this case is that Montalbano knew that was he was doing could be viewed as inappropriate and his attempt to make it clear that he was not trying to intimidate Berdahl only reinforced why the conversation was inappropriate Here is an account published in the Vancouver Sun:

“Montalbano said in an…

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