Global Survey of Academic Freedom Issues in 2015 [Post 2 of a Series]


Canada—University of British Columbia [Part 2]

About two months after the previously cited articles on the issues involving John Montalbano and Jennifer Berdahl was published, the following open letter by Martha Piper, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia was also published in the Vancouver Sun. At a time when administrators have often actively sought to undermine academic freedom or have passively acquiesced to its erosion by political and corporate interests, this statement by a university president is remarkable for both its content and its singularity:

“There is a conversation unfolding–reasonably and urgently–about whether the University of British Columbia has been offering adequate support and protection to the privilege of academic freedom. I’m encouraged by that discussion: it’s an issue well worth our time, and one that I’m determined to see resolved in a decisive and transparent fashion.

“As a result of recent experience at UBC, we…

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