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York Democratic Forum

January 29, 2009

Some faculty at York U. have set up a new web site, York Democratic Forum. According to the About page,

According to its mission statement, York University cultivates the critical intellect, values tolerance and diversity, and is a community of faculty, students and staff committed to “academic freedom, social justice, accessible education, and collegial self-governance.” The editors of this information and discussion website are a group of York faculty who share these values but are deeply concerned about campus realities that stand at odds with them.

A major focus of our concerns is the neoliberal transformation of our university. By this we refer to trends that strengthen bureaucratic control and erode collegial self-governance, encourage the privatization and causualization of intellectual labour, privilege research with immediate commercial resuts, and de-value humanistic traditions of pedagogy and life-long learning. At York we are troubled by the narrowing of public spaces and the reduced opportunities for democratic exchange. The Administration holds a virtual monopoly on communications, emphasizing corporate branding and public relations rather than intellectual exchange, and increasingly restricts academic freedom and social activism. Our goal on the York Democratic Forum website is to provide a space with critical perspectives and alternative views on governance and academic life at York and more broadly at universities across Canada. It follows that this autonomous website is not associated with or supported by the York University Administration.

The site is new; in fact, it officially debuts on Feb. 1. But there is already a budding links page and several posts. Looks like a place to watch.

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