CAUT launches investigation at Queen's on course cancellation, reassignment

January 20, 2012

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has established an ad hoc investigatory committee to examine Queen's University's treatment of history professor Michael Mason. In late October, Mason's class was cancelled and the course subsequently reassigned to another professor after he was accused of racism for quotations he included in his lectures from historical documents he felt showed the persistence of colonial attitudes in contemporary times. In a letter to Queen's principal Daniel Woolf, CAUT executive director James Turk advised the committee's terms of reference were to investigate the institution's handing of complaints made against Mason in relation to his course; to determine whether there were any violations of substantive or procedural fairness in the investigation of Mason and subsequent actions taken as a result of that investigation; to determine whether there were breaches of or threats to Mason's academic freedom and other faculty rights; and to make any appropriate recommendations. The committee will submit its report to CAUT later this year. CAUT Bulletin