Everybody’s Talking About Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom is a hot topic these days, and Waterloo is joining the conversation. An invitation went out today for all FAUW members and University senators to attend a campus roundtable discussion about academic freedom on March 12. The event is jointly presented by the administration and FAUW, and we look forward to meaningful dialogue about what academic freedom means for research, teaching, and service at Waterloo.

One of the panelists who will open the conversation is Shannon Dea, an associate professor in philosophy and women’s studies, a member of Waterloo’s senate, and FAUW’s vice president.

Shannon has recently started a blog, Daily Academic Freedom, to explore what academic freedom looks like across Canada and around the world.

From her first post:

My plan with the blog isn’t to write much about my own views on academic freedom. Rather, I will curate a collection of academic freedom resources from around the world. 

“This blog won’t be much fun for folks who want to yell about the Right or the Left, or heave long sighs about Kids These Days. But, with time, it will make possible handy one-stop-shopping for folks like me who are trying to develop a better understanding of academic freedom — what it is, why university scholars have it, and what responsibilities come with it. In that way, I hope that this blog will be a useful resource for those who seek to defend academic freedom.”

Shannon’s recent posts focus on comparing definitions of academic freedom at Canadian universities, starting with Waterloo. You might find this good background reading for the March 12 roundtable.

We encourage you to attend the event (there’s free lunch!), and to follow along with Shannon’s blog in the meantime.

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