Universities must stand up against the “enemies of enlightenment,” says McMaster president

March 2, 2017

“Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment, progress and discovery, and no institution can expect or continue to be great if it is walled off from the rest of the world,” writes McMaster University President Patrick Deane in a critique of recent developments in US travel policy. Deane notes that the very purpose of universities in the West has been to “protect the unimpeded flow of people and ideas” as a “prerequisite for learning and human advancement.” After exploring the historical context behind his assertions, Deane concludes that “where there is injustice, intolerance or exclusion, there cannot be academic freedom. Universities have therefore a fundamental and essential obligation to oppose bigotry and closed-mindedness in all its forms.” McMaster