Friday, January 9, 2015

Freedom to Discriminate?

Inside Higher Ed
January 9th, 2015

The University of New Brunswick in Canada appears to be standing behind a professor accused by a colleague across the country of racism and bad scholarship. While academic freedom experts in the U.S. and Canada agree the university did the right thing, the offended professor says the questionable comments merit no special protection.
At issue are a series of statements in which Ricardo Duchesne, a tenured professor of social science at New Brunswick, said that the city of Vancouver is essentially being ruined and becoming less "British" because of an influx of Asian immigrants.
In a statement this week, Robert MacKinnon, vice president of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus, didn’t endorse Duchesne's comments about the allegedly deleterious effect of Asian immigrants on Vancouver. But MacKinnon said that “academic freedom is a foundational principle of university life.” Often, he said, “such academic debate expresses views that may be perceived as controversial and unpopular.”

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