The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Letter to the Editor: Response to “Lawsuit against university comes to an end, public shares concerns,” published Sept. 12

By in Opinions

Dear Sheaf:

Kudos to you, and especially Noah Callaghan, for your piece about the Academic Integrity Group’s lawsuit against the U of S, and its forced abandonment because of the financial burden on the suit’s sponsors (myself included)…

Instead of flipping classrooms, the U of S leadership seems intent on flipping academic freedom to mean the right to conceal rather than the right to reveal the substance and import of academic exchanges. In preferring to litigate rather illuminate, the V-P and others waste scarce resources while damaging … the reputation of an institution recently well on its way to recovery from the Buckingham scandal and its prodigious aftermath. 

Dr. Chad fails to comment on the irony … of a School of Public Policy using an unnecessary [rule] … to protect from campus and public scrutiny discussions bearing on matters of public health, academic integrity, and the public interest. The U of S invokes considerations of privacy and confidentiality to dignify while masking a culture of concealment… In its pursuit of excessive redaction rather than circumspect disclosure, the U of S irresponsibly casts a cloud of suspicion over many fine and scrupulous researchers on our campus and on the value of degrees earned by our students in areas of public policy, food security, and even food sovereignty.

Our university should not function as a shilling station for corporate interests and as an almost contemptuous antagonist of the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner whose recommendations in the matter of “Managing Research and the Right to Know” it contested so arrogantly in court.  This is “The University the World Needs”, yes — to be much more transparent! The U of S may be entitled to be proud of its “Defenders” — but surely not of its rash defence of the arguably indefensible. As in the past, overzealous brand protection may come back to haunt its leading promoters. As in the past, they cannot claim they were not warned.

Len Findlay M.A. D.Phil. D.Litt. F.R.S.C.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus      

University of Saskatchewan

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