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A slow news day

August 7, 2008

on the PSE front — Kelly Lamrock, Shawn Graham and their onelegged Frankensteinmonster education plan are hogging all the bandwidth — so have raided Facebook and publish for you here some texts collected by Greg Marquis:

Supreme Court of Canada on universities:

This is from the decision Mckinney vs. University of Guelph, [1990] 2 SCR 229:

“The universities are legally autonomous. They are not organs of government even though their scope of action is limited either by regulation or because of their dependence on government funds. Each has its own governing body, manages its own affairs, allocates its funds and pursues its own goals within the legislated limitations of its incorporation. Each is its own master with respect to the employment of professors. The government has no legal power to control them. Their legal autonomy is fully buttressed by their traditional position in society. Any attempt by government to influence university decisions, especially decisions regarding appointment, tenure and dismissal of academic staff, would be strenuously resisted by the universities on the basis that this could lead to breaches of academic freedom.”

Greg also points towards the excellent mission statement of the University of Toronto — a model for all others and apparently now affixed to various office doors at UNBSJ — as well as the International Association of Universities policy statement, “Academic Freedom, University Autonomy and Social Responsibility” (1998) which begins

Recalling that at the International Conference convened by UNESCO in 1950, in Nice, the Universities of the World stipulated three indissociable principles for which every university should stand, namely:

the right to pursue knowledge for its own sake and to follow wherever the search for truth may lead;

the tolerance of divergent opinion and freedom from political interference;

the obligation as social institutions to promote, through teaching and research, the principles of freedom and justice, of human dignity and solidarity, and to develop mutually material and moral aid on an international level.

and goes on “to reaffirm these principles and to redefine their implications within the framework of a new Social Contract which sets out mutual responsibilities, rights and obligations between University and Society so that they may meet the challenges of the new Millennium.”

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