08 February 2011

CAUT caught using bullying tactics

Two months ago I wrote of the Canadian Association of University Teachers' efforts to "investigate" the supposed violation of academic freedom at overtly christian universities. Shortly thereafter CAUT approached my own employer, Redeemer University College, for the same reason. Today's National Post carries this report by Charles Lewis: Professors group accused of anti-religious bullying. Here is an excerpt:

A group of academics has launched a campaign defending Canadian Christian universities against what it terms anti-religious bullying by the country's leading university teachers' federation. "What we have here is an academic union ganging up on these smaller Christian universities, and I thought it was high time that people from the public universities take a stand," said Paul Allen, an associate professor of theology at Concordia University in Montreal.

The protest is a direct response to reports that the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) issued against Trinity Western University in British Columbia more than a year ago, Crandall University in New Brunswick in July and Winnipeg's Canadian Mennonite University in October.

"It bothered me that this is anti-religious ideology masked as supposedly an academic freedom issue," said Mr. Allen, who has started a petition to warn about CAUT's actions. "This was an opportunity in the current [secular climate] to go after religion."

The petition, which now has 140 signatures, said the investigations are unwarranted and invasive. Mr. Allen and many others who signed the petition are members of CAUT, which has 65,000 members. Academics at the schools that were investigated are not members.

All Canadian academics who value institutional religious freedom should take a moment to sign the Faculty Statement on CAUT.

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