CAUT will consider all cases of alleged violations of academic freedom involving a required commitment to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment. Such allegations should be brought to the attention of the executive director. In cases where attention by CAUT seems justified, the executive director will notify the president and the chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee and will expeditiously initiate a preliminary inquiry to be undertaken to gather necessary background and factual information. The executive director will provide the president and the chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee a list of all other requests brought to his attention. All requests brought to the executive director, president and chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee that are not expeditiously dealt with by a preliminary inquiry will be referred to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee.
If the allegation appears valid, and if a satisfactory resolution of the matter does not seem to be possible through informal negotiation, the executive director, in consultation with the president, the chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, and others as appropriate, will establish an ad hoc investigatory committee that will look into the situation and report to CAUT through the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (see 4 below).
In all instances where a CAUT local association exists at the institution where there is an alleged ideological or faith test, the executive director will consult with the local association as part of the preliminary inquiry. In the event an ad hoc investigatory committee is established, the assistance of the local association will be sought with reference to work of the committee.
The following guidelines apply to the committee:
a) The members will be appointed by the executive director in consultation with the president and the chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee.
b) Members will serve without remuneration except for expenses. CAUT will hold the committee members harmless from any legal actions that arise as a result of their work on the committee of inquiry.
c) The committee will be provided with terms of reference that pose specific questions to be addressed. The terms of reference will be developed by the president, the chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee and the executive director.
d) The committee will seek to review fully and fairly the matters it has been appointed to investigate and will prepare a report to CAUT in a timely manner.
e) The committee has no statutory powers and no authority to compel individuals to participate in its inquiry. To ensure that it is fully informed with regard to the matters under review, the committee will rely on the cooperation of everyone concerned. Anyone who chooses to be interviewed by the committee may be accompanied by a colleague.
f) The committee will begin by reviewing the documentary record available to it upon its appointment. Further relevant information from individuals will be sought as necessary by inviting them to meet with the committee and to submit documents.
g) Persons interviewed by the committee will be provided with a statement of matters under investigation in advance of the interview. Persons interviewed will be permitted to make a statement to the committee and to raise issues that they consider relevant, subject to the right of the committee to decide, having been provided an opportunity for arguments to the contrary, that particular matters are not relevant to its terms of reference.
h) Committee members will take notes during interviews and interviews may be recorded where the person being interviewed consents.
i) As soon as possible after receipt of the report of the ad hoc investigatory committee, the executive director will review it and communicate with the committee regarding any suggestions for revision.
j) To ensure fairness to persons potentially affected in a material adverse way by findings in the committee’s report, the executive director will send a fair summary of the information upon which such findings could be based to such persons, allowing a reasonable time for them to respond. The executive director will then invite the ad hoc investigatory committee to revise its report in light of the comments received.
k) The committee’s draft report will be transmitted to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee which may request further revisions. Following consideration of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee’s request, the committee’s final report will be submitted to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee for final review.
l) Following the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee’s final review, CAUT will explore with the institution’s administration whether it is prepared to eliminate its faith or ideological test.
m) If the institution is not prepared to eliminate its faith or ideological test, CAUT, on the advice of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, will publish the final text of the report. The members of the ad hoc investigatory committee will be listed as authors of the published report unless they withhold their names because of disagreement with changes requested by the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee or as a result of comments from the parties potentially affected in a material adverse way.
n) An institution found to have imposed a requirement of a commitment to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment will have its name added to a list publicized by CAUT.
Approved by the CAUT Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee
and the Executive Committee, September 2006;
approved by CAUT Council, November 2006.
Approved by CAUT Council, November 2010.