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“Universities’ autonomy is not to be trifled with”

August 8, 2008

Have you read the commentary by Claire Morris in the Globe and Mail today?

Wonder which “some provinces” might be?:

There is increasing concern in our university community that government interventionism, at least in some provinces, is threatening the delicate balance. However well-intentioned, governments’ forays into micromanaging universities risk undermining the very roles they expect universities to play in society. Institutional autonomy and the related principle of academic freedom provide the best conditions for the conduct of scholarship and higher education in a free society. Institutional autonomy is important to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. For example, to join the association, a member institution must have an independent board of governors, or appropriate equivalent, that is committed to public accountability and functions in a transparent manner, and that has control over the institution’s finances and administration. A member institution must also ensure that academic decisions – what is taught, who teaches it and how it is taught – are vested in academic staff through an academic senate or appropriate equivalent.

And if your ears are burning, read the comments to find out why.

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