Academic Freedom

The Issue

Academic freedom at Canada’s post-secondary institutions is being seriously undermined. A significant proportion of university and college academic staff are being hired into contingent positions lacking the job security that makes protection of academic freedom feasible. In response to chronic underfunding, universities have agreed to fundraising deals and collaborative projects that compromise academic integrity and academic freedom. Universities are actively implementing codes of conduct and respectful workplace policies that attempt to regulate speech permissible under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Why It Matters

The public mission of the university is to advance and disseminate knowledge, educate students, and encourage critical thinking and free expression. These ends cannot be achieved without academic freedom.

Our Work

The Centre engages in public education about the nature and importance of academic freedom. It highlights current threats and works to ensure that academic freedom rights are extended to all academic staff.

Resources
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Blog Post: No thank you, Premier Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has carried through with his promise to require universities to develop, implement, and comply with free speech policies that meet his government’s minimum standard in the

By James L Turk


News: Free expression groups oppose Ontario Government plan for universities and colleges

The Center for Free Expression and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression deplore the Ontario Government’s attempt to influence, through intimidation and the withholding of funds, the interna


Blog Post: Kudos to University of Alberta President for Strong Defence of Academic Integrity In Face of Fierce Onslaught

At a time when academic freedom and university integrity are under widespread attack, University of Alberta President David Turpin has courageously defended the university as an institution founded

By James L Turk


Blog Post: Campus Speech and the Inflation of Harm

There’s more interest in campus free expression than we have seen since the Great Student Revolts of 1968, or even further back in the last century, in the

By William Bruneau


News: Sheldon Levy: Why I defended freedom of speech on campus

Toronto Star / January 26 – Writing in the Toronto Star, Sheldon Levy, past-president of Ryerson University, describes the university president’s challenge in defending freedom of expression on campus and why it is essential for universities and beyond.