CAUT has established an investigation into alleged violations of academic freedom at Thompson Rivers University. Economics professor Derek Pyne was suspended this past summer for what he says was the latest in a series of actions taken against him for an article he published last year exploring the use of so-called predatory journals by faculty members and administrators at TRU’s school of business and economics.
Mark Mac Lean (mathematics) of the University of British Columbia will chair the investigatory committee. Carla Graebner (research data services librarian and librarian for government information) of Simon Fraser University will also serve on the committee. The committee’s terms of reference are to investigate whether the administration of TRU violated the academic freedom of Pyne in relation to his criticisms of the school of business and economics, and his research into the incidence of deceptive publishing by colleagues and administrators. The committee is also being asked to determine whether the actions taken by the administration against Pyne were appropriate, and to make any relevant recommendations.
In a written response to CAUT in November, interim TRU president Christine Bovis-Cnossen indicated the administration will not be cooperating with the investigatory committee.