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AUCC Publishes New Statement on Academic Freedom

An updated statement on academic freedom was the result of this week’s meeting of presidents from member universities of the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC). The statement suggests that academic freedom is of utmost importance in the Canadian university context: “Academic freedom is essential to the role of universities in a democratic society.” The statement notes that academic freedom is not as broad as freedom of speech. “Academic freedom is the freedom to teach and conduct research in an academic environment.” It is based on reasoned discourse, extensive research, and peer review.

The new statement recognizes what it calls “constraints” in the application of academic freedom. These constraints are the professional standards of the relevant discipline and the responsibility of the institution to organize its academic mission, independent from funding agencies and other outside entities.

The complete AUCC statement on academic freedom can be found here.


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