CAUT adds Providence to faith test list

March 8, 2012

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has added Manitoba-based Providence University College to its list of PSE institutions that have a faith or ideological test as a condition of employment. The action follows a report completed by an ad-hoc investigatory committee struck last year. While Providence does have a statement on academic freedom, the committee describes it as "significantly inconsistent" with that of CAUT and the majority of universities worldwide, and "assurances that free enquiry is still possible within its constraints are unconvincing." CAUT executive James Turk says "this is not about a university having a religious mission," but "about requiring that academic staff conform to a particular religious belief if they want to be hired or retain their jobs." A group of academics circulated a petition last year that called CAUT's investigations of religious institutions "unwarranted and invasive." CAUT later announced that it would revise how it conducts investigations of these schools. CAUT News