(Ottawa - November 30, 2020) The national association representing Canada’s academics has moved a step closer to censuring the University of Toronto over a hiring scandal in the Faculty of Law.
According to a report prepared by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), the University offered Dr. Valentina Azarova the position of Director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the Faculty of Law on August 11, 2020. The hiring process was abruptly aborted following outside political pressure from a sitting judge concerned about Dr. Azarova’s academic work on human rights in Israel and Palestine.
“The facts that have emerged strongly suggest the decision to cancel Dr. Azarova’s appointment was politically motivated, and as such would constitute a serious breach of widely recognized principles of academic freedom,” the report concludes.
Following the decision of CAUT Council, the University has six months to address concerns before censure is formally imposed. Censure is a sanction in which academic staff are asked to not accept appointments or speaking engagements at the institution until satisfactory changes are made.
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-222-3530; firstname.lastname@example.org