uWaterloo, WLU defend partnership with CIGI

March 16, 2012

Facing censure by CAUT, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are defending their academic integrity with regard to their partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) on the Balsillie School of International Affairs. The universities point out that their senates recently passed a governance document, 2 years in the making, that directly addresses CAUT's concerns. The universities' respective provosts say the institutions have complete control over hiring faculty who may be eligible for CIGI-funded research chairs and extend the same protection and rights to those academics as all faculty members. WLU's provost says the threat of censure was "completely unwarranted" given the effort put into drafting a governing plan that ensures academic freedom. A CIGI VP says the think-tank has no veto over hiring and no motive to hamper academic freedom. Waterloo Region Record


Postscript (April 2, 2012): Former Dean joins voices defending CIGI deal:  Ken Coates, the former dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo, argues in a National Post op-ed that CAUT is misguided in its concerns about the agreements between the Jim Balsillie-funded think tank and YorkU, WLU and uWaterloo. Coates maintains that neither Balsillie nor CIGI staff members attempted to infringe on academic freedom, and that while “CAUT provides many valuable services to the Canadian academic community… the pursuit of the Centre for International Governance Innovation is not such a contribution.”  National Post