(Ottawa – October 19, 2023) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is condemning Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities for naming and accusing several professors of alleged misconduct.
In a statement in the provincial legislature on October 17, Minister Jill Dunlop alleged the professors expressed pro-Hamas and antisemitic views on social media. The accusations are vehemently denied by the professors named.
“It is highly unusual for allegations of misconduct on the part of professors to be made in any legislature in Canada, and for good reason,” CAUT Executive Director David Robinson wrote. “By statute, universities are granted institutional autonomy so they may fulfill their mission and conduct their internal affairs free from interference of political or other special interests.”
Robinson added that the Minister has failed to appreciate the importance of academic freedom in a democratic society.
“Academic freedom requires that academics must not be hindered or impeded in exercising their civil rights, including the right to contribute to social change through free expression of opinion on matters of public interest. All professors have the right, within the law, to contribute their views and their expertise to public discourse.”
Robinson called on the Minister to immediately apologize to the professors for the damage caused to their reputations.
CAUT is the national voice of more than 72,000 academic and professional staff at more than 125 universities and colleges across the country.