The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has recently censured the University of Toronto for its decision to reverse a hiring decision because of pressure from a high-profile donor. You can read more about CAUT’s investigation and imposition of censure on the CAUT website. The CAUT does not come lightly, or often, to a decision to censure, and there are numerous steps in the process. In the words of CAUT ED David Robinson, “It is a measure of last resort used only when we are faced with serious violations of academic freedom and other principles that are fundamental to higher education.”
It is important that AASUA members understand that this decision has implications for us. CAUT censure is meant as a sanction, and as such academic staff across the country are asked:
• not to accept appointments at the University;
• not to accept invitations to speak or participate in academic conferences held or hosted by the University; and,
• not to accept any distinction or honour that may be offered by the University.
AASUA supports the decision to censure, and we encourage all of our members to respect the sanctions as an act of solidarity.