Tag: academic freedom

2nd Laval University Professor Suspended for Questioning the Need to Vaccinate Children for COVID

A second professor from Laval University in Quebec City has been suspended for questioning the need to vaccinate children against COVID-19. Nicolas Derome, a professor of molecular biology, was suspended for the same reason and under similar circumstances as his colleague Patrick Provost, a professor of microbiology, infectious diseases, and immunology. Derome and Provost both…


Academic Freedom, Quebec Style

Commentary On June 3, the National Assembly of Quebec, Canada, passed an Act respecting academic freedom in the university sector. The law’s purpose is described in the legislation: “to recognize, promote, and protect university academic freedom in order to support the mission of university-level educational institutions, which includes the production and transmission of knowledge through…


It’s Going to be a Long March Back to Academic Freedom

Commentary In the 1960s and ’70s, we witnessed the spread of increasingly radical ideologies in North America. In Canada and the United States, Marxist revolutionary visions were seldom embraced by working-class citizens. So, militant leftists shifted the idea of revolutionary “struggle” from class warfare to ethnic and racial conflict. They captured the imagination of impressionable…


Quebec Academic Freedom Bill Allows Use of ‘Any Word’ in Teaching Context

A new bill introduced in Quebec on April 6 allows “any word” to be used in university classrooms under academic context, the province’s higher education minister said. Bill 32 was introduced in the National Assembly for the purpose of recognizing, promoting, and protecting “university academic freedom,” an official document says. “The bill defines the right to university academic…


Quebec University Classrooms Are Not Safe Spaces, Says Academic Freedom Committee

MONTREAL—A committee mandated by the Quebec government to investigate academic freedom says university classrooms should not be considered safe spaces. The committee, headed by former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister Alexandre Cloutier, introduced its report today, following hearings that included testimony from university staff and students. Cloutier, the vice chancellor at Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi,…


Are Academic Freedom and Diversity on a Collision Course?

Commentary A report issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom at the University of Ottawa has been framed in the media as a win for professors and a loss for students. Indeed, the committee states that “there is no right not to feel offended since academic freedom protects controversial and hurtful statements.” Its members also oppose…


UK University Investigated After Professor Forced to Quit by Transgender Activists

A British university is under investigation after a professor was harassed on campus by transgender activists and eventually forced to resign. The Office for Students, the UK’s independent higher education watchdog, has launched an investigation into the University of Sussex after the resignation of philosophy professor Kathleen Stock. Stock had been at odds with some…


A Free Speech Code for Australian Universities: Protecting Free or Restrictive Speech?

Commentary The Australian Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, reported on Oct. 13, 2021, that all 41 universities in the country have now adopted policies to strengthen and protect free speech and academic freedom. Specifically, most have adopted a slightly modified version of the Model Code as revised by the Chancellors’ Council Working Group….


All Australian Universities Have Now Adopted Free Speech Code

All Australian universities have now adopted policies to strengthen and protect free speech on campus, two years after the recommendation was made. University chancellors have also agreed to publicly report on how they are upholding academic freedom and freedom of speech on campus on an annual basis from 2021. Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge said…


Academic Freedom Relegated to the Dustbin of History

Commentary The High Court Of Australia has now unanimously rendered its judgment in the Peter Ridd case. The facts of the Ridd case are well known. James Cook University sacked Peter Ridd, a physics professor, in 2018 for criticising his colleagues’ research on the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Professor Ridd went public with…