Faculty Association Advisory to Members:
Academic Freedom and Petitions

As part of your academic freedom, you have the right to engage in commentary on the governance of the University. We expect many of you will wish to express your views on governance at UBC given the current situation, and the Faculty Association Executive welcomes and supports the diversity of opinions we expect our colleagues to share on this issue.

An independent group of faculty members has launched a petition to ask the Faculty Association to bring a motion to the membership expressing no confidence in the UBC Board of Governors. The creation of this petition is an act protected by academic freedom. Likewise, signing such a petition is an act protected by academic freedom.

The University Administration has a positive obligation to protect, as well as an obligation not to interfere with, your academic freedom. In this case, administrators cannot engage in activities designed to interfere with your choice to sign such a petition.

It has been brought to the attention of the Faculty Association that some Deans may be soliciting Heads in their Faculties to actively dissuade faculty members from signing this petition. It is our view that such actions would not be consistent with a Dean’s obligation to protect your academic freedom, and the Faculty Association would investigate any such breaches brought to it by our members.

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