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Posted April 30, 2012

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Academic Feeedom

Laurier and Waterloo respond to CAUT motion

WATERLOO –Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and are in strong disagreement with the position taken by the Canadian Association of University Teachers to initiate a motion of censure related to the universities’ partnership in The Balsillie School of International Affairs.

It should be made clear that the CAUT has not approved an immediate censure. Rather, it has initiated a process of discussion that we hope will lead to a clearer understanding of the facts and issues involved.

Nonetheless, we are obliged to state in the strongest terms possible that the allegations that prompted this recommendation have no basis in fact.

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and integrity. The Balsillie School of International Affairs’ governance document protects academic freedom, academic program governance, and faculty working conditions by keeping them completely within the universities and separate from third-party influence.

It is important to note that this governance document was developed through a rigorous process with full stakeholder engagement and significant faculty consultation. The document was approved by the University of Waterloo Senate and the Wilfrid Laurier University Senate, which are the bodies that govern the academic functioning and educational policies of the universities.

A disturbing amount of misinformation has circulated around this issue. We strongly encourage faculty members and other interested parties to read the governance document. It can be found at: http://www.balsillieschool.ca/about/governance

Academic freedom and integrity are fundamental principles at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University and will continue to remain front and centre in all current and future agreements and partnerships.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs is a highly respected research and educational institution that aims to develop new solutions to critical problems, improve global governance, and enhance the quality of people’s lives around the world. We are proud to be partners in this important initiative.




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