Departmental Statements: FA Preserves Protection for Academic Freedom and Collegiality at UBC

After three months of negotiations, the University and the FA have come to an important agreement concerning the academic freedom of faculty members to issue public statements regarding matters which concern the membership, including political and social issues. Moving forward all academic units may continue to post statements to their websites so long as they are derived through collegial dialogue, do not purport to suggest unanimity of opinion where it does not exist, and do not purport to speak for the University at large.

This agreement comes in response to actions by the University, beginning in the fall of 2023, that would have curtailed the academic freedom and past rights and practices of our membership to engage in and disseminate the outcome of collegial decision-making.

Academic Freedom, departmental autonomy, and collegial governance are paramount to the proper functioning of the academy and the advancement of the free flow of ideas at the University, and within the university community. With this agreement, the FA has again preserved the rights of all FA members to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion and to use their collective voice to participate in the social discourse of our time.

We thank the members of faculty from diverse units who brought the precipitating events to our attention and raised their own concerns over the University’s potential intrusion into the fundamental rights and practices of academics.

Please see the guidelines that have now been placed on the Provosts’ websites, which provides the disclaimer that must be included in any statements by units:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dory Nason