Created 2 February 2024 14:02
(For Immediate Release – Port Moody, BC, February 2, 2024) – The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) joins the call for the resignation of Hon. Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. We stand in solidarity with the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) in their defense of faculty rights and institutional autonomy. The FPSE and CAUT released a call on February 1 for the resignation of the Hon. Minister Robinson following allegations of ministerial interference in the termination of a faculty member at Langara College for making controversial remarks on the war in Gaza.
“We unconditionally uphold the democratic principles of freedom of expression, academic freedom, and collective agreement rights to due process and natural justice,” says CUFA BC President Ken Christie. “We commit to defending a public post-secondary system free of direct interference by the provincial government.”
Earlier this week, we expressed our concerns with Minister Robinson and Premier David Eby, and called for the Province to protect the existing right to institutional autonomy in BC’s universities. We share in FPSE’s disappointment over the Minister’s actions and are especially alarmed by comments suggesting she has pressured college and university presidents in BC to police speech related to the war in Gaza.
We have unequivocally said it is inappropriate for a government official to undermine the public institutions within their jurisdiction. We expect more from the leaders in this province. Most importantly, we seek reassurance that our leaders understand the responsibility and limits of their ministerial positions.
For further information or comment please contact CUFA BC Executive Director Annabree Fairweather at 604-367-5856 or [email protected].
CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia.
CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.