The Brock University Faculty Association (BUFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) are disappointed that the Arbitrator in the academic freedom grievance involving Dr. Tomáš Hudlický has determined the matter to be moot and that no further hearings will be held. Dr. Hudlický tragically passed away earlier this year prior to having completed his cross examination by the University’s counsel. Despite the union counsel’s objections, the Arbitrator determined that to proceed given this fact would be inconsistent with procedural fairness.
BUFA and CAUT believe it was inappropriate and a violation of academic freedom for the administration to issue two public statements admonishing Dr. Hudlický for comments he made in an article published in an academic journal. Academic freedom, as stated in the collective agreement between BUFA and Brock University, includes the right of academic staff to engage in teaching, research, and expression free of institutional censorship or reprisal. By pursuing the matter to arbitration, BUFA and CAUT were defending this fundamental principle for all members of the academic community. It is unfortunate that the case and the issues it raises will not be heard by the Arbitrator, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to the defence of academic freedom.