The actions of MacEwan Administration, inaction of the MacEwan Faculty Association, and collaboration between these and other groups to target one faculty member has resulted in the largest and most egregious abuse of power ever documented in academia.
Grant MacEwan University values, advances, and protects the principles of academic freedom; this includes freedom of inquiry, discourse, teaching, research, and publication.
2.0 Rationale and guiding principles
2.3 The free and open pursuit of knowledge by faculty members sometimes results in differing opinions. Such differences are valued because the expression of unpopular opinions and research advances the attainment of the whole truth. Prevailing opinion is often not the whole truth.
3.0 Scope and definitions
3.2 All faculty members possess the benefits and responsibilities enumerated in section 3.5 of this Policy.
3.3 In this Policy, Academic Freedom is defined as a set of principles, based on values and ideals, which respect faculty members’ freedoms, coupled with equally high standards of Academic Responsibility. Academic Freedom is the freedom of faculty members to teach, to conduct research, to engage in scholarly activity, to disseminate and publish results of that research, to produce and perform creative works, and to engage in service to the institution and community without being subject to undue interference.
3.4. In this Policy, Academic Responsibility includes adherence to academic policies that are created and advanced by members of the academic community as part of that community’s process of academic self-government.
Academic Freedom and Academic Responsibility includes the duty to respect the rights of others, to exercise that freedom in a reasonable and responsible manner, and to respect the academic objectives of the institution.
3.5 In this Policy, Academic Freedom and Academic Responsibility includes the following areas: teaching, curriculum design and development, scholarly research and publication, institutional governance, and professional and community activities.
Academic Freedom includes the right to teach and propound academic and course subjects without fear of censure. To that end faculty members have the right to select course materials, content, methodology, and sequence of subjects.
Faculty members are to exercise this freedom responsibly within the frameworks of course syllabi and course practices established by faculty members.
3.5.2 Curriculum Design and Development
Faculty members, through a system of appointed or elected department, faculty/school, and University committees, have the right to participate in decision-making with respect to curriculum; new programs; new course offerings; modifications of existing courses; and degree, diploma, or certificate requirements.
Teaching and curriculum development necessarily require significant coordination and the imposition of a certain degree of structure, as well a need for collaboration and agreement on such matters as general course content, syllabi, and examinations.
3.5.3 Research, Publication, and other Scholarly Activities
Faculty members are free in the selection of topics for research and in the publication of results and conclusions of that research.
Faculty members have the responsibility to ensure that research and scholarly activity meets high scientific and ethical standards, including honest and thoughtful inquiry and rigorous analysis.
3.5.4 University Governance
Faculty members have the right to participate in University governance by providing counsel and advice on matters of policy (including strategic planning), program and student evaluation, and services to students.
Faculty members share a continuing responsibility for shaping the direction of their respective departments, programs and faculties/schools, and for serving on University-wide councils, committees, and offices. Since participation of faculty members in these areas is vital to academic governance, the University shall reciprocate with ample opportunities for faculty members’ participation within these councils, committees, and offices.
Faculty members are entitled to question University procedures and policies, and to propose and to work for changes without fear of censure and undue interference.
3.5.5 Professional and Community Activities
Faculty members, as citizens and members of learned professions, have a right to personal and professional opinions, no matter how unpopular they may be, and to state these publicly without censorship or fear of harassment or reprisal.
Their special position as faculty members, however, imposes on them special obligations to their professions as well as to their institution. They must recognize that both their profession and their institution might be judged by their public statements. Consequently, they must avoid creating the impression that they speak for the institution or for their profession, unless they are expressly delegated that responsibility. When exercising these rights as citizens within the University, individuals must be cognizant of, and sensitive to, the fact that other members of the University also enjoy these same rights and freedoms.
This policy exists only on paper. Administration reserves the right to determine when policies are activated and deactivated. Administration hinders scholarly activity. And since MacEwan faculty are not tenured, MacEwan Administration has the option of terminating any faculty member at any time.
Without tenure, academic freedom is dead.