(Ottawa — June 6, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) strongly condemns the unfair treatment of Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) faculty representative Louise Briand by the institution’s board of governors.
After an anonymous complaint lodged on May 4, Professor Briand was removed from her position on the UQO Board of Governors representing academic staff because she was accused of having been ‘disrespectful’ during Board meeting deliberations. Briand had been critical of the spending priorities of the institution, arguing that infrastructure spending was given priority over investment in teaching, program development, and research.
In a letter addressed to the chair of the UQO board of governors’ Governance and Ethics Committee, CAUT emphasizes that the UQO has a duty to respect Professor Briand’s academic freedom, as well as her freedom of expression.
“Academic freedom includes the right to express one's opinion about the university, its administration, and the system in which one works," says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. "UQO should immediately reinstate Professor Briand."
CAUT represents over 70,000 academic staff across Canada.