U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Canada's university presidents discover a new variety of academic freedom

Well there you have it.

The geniuses that administer our public universities have decided to re-define academic freedom without reference to the last hundred years of jurisprudence and academic workplace practice.

Why not. What the hell. Let's just make it up.

They have done this via their association -- the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Whereas their last (1988) statement on academic freedom was palatable and consistent with reality, the new and improved version launched in 2011 is a manifesto to eliminate the concept altogether.

It is a an excretion of administratium aimed at arming executives against their critics and all those students and professors who may wish to entertain notions of collegial governance, professional independence, and intra-institutional critique.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has rightly seen fit to condemn the new AUCC policy document in an open letter, thanks to an institutional memory that goes beyond the last few years.

It's all very telling.

This means at least two things:
(1) Our "leaders" loathe academics who cherish critical scholarship and fear communities of independent thinkers; and

(2) Our "leaders" correctly judge that they can pollute the policy environment with such rubbish without risking ridicule and significant backlash, showing that academic freedom truly has been eroded.

Sad, sad, sad.

Integrating Empire relies on us being brain-dead and the educational system is the best way to achieve intellectual mindocide (ref). The presidents are just doing their job. And they will continue to do their job as long as we continue to sleep through it all.

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