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What are the Limits to “Academic Freedom”?

21 JAN 2015
Career Path : Education News

Teacher With College Students Giving Lesson In Classroom

Recently a University of New Brunswick professor was called out for perceived racist remarks and bad academia by a Vancouver city council member– and the university seems to be standing behind their professor’s remarks.

The controversy stems from remarks made by tenured professor Ricardo Duchesne, who stated that Vancouver was becoming “less British” because of the influx of immigrants from Asia. A recent report by The Vancouver Sun revealed that there are 45,000 wealthy Chinese business people on a waiting list to immigrate to Vancouver as investors.

Upon seeing these remarks, Vancouver city councilor Dr. Kerry Wang emailed the University of New Brunswick, saying, “I’m quite worried that you have a professor at the University of New Brunswick who is expressing his personal views, using his title as a cover-up.

Which then puts into question the extent to which academic freedom can be granted. Academic freedom, as defined by Dictionary.com is:

Freedom of a teacher to discuss or investigate any controversial social, economic, or political problems without interference or penalty from officials or organized groups.

After a request to look into these comment by Dr. Wang, the university released a statement saying:

“The university statement of mission and values very clearly supports the freedom of thought and expression, while maintaining the highest ethical standards and a respectful environment.”

What do you think, was the professor out of line, or should he be protected by the policy of academic freedom?

Source: Global News