Date: September 16, 2015
To: Directors, Harry Crowe Foundation
Presidents and Administrative Officers
Local, Provincial and Federated Associations
From: David C. Johnson, President
Re: Academic Freedom in the Managed University:
Conflict, Controversy, and Control
Academic freedom has always faced threats from powerful interests outside the university. Today, developments within our campuses are increasingly limiting the ability of academic staff to exercise their right to speak, teach, and conduct research without constraint. The increasing concentration of power in the senior administration, the erosion of collegial governance, the imposition of program prioritization initiatives, and the development of new managerial tools and workplace policies to control and regulate faculty performance and behaviour point to the emergence of new challenges to academic freedom.
This rise of managerial fundamentalism in the academy, how it is manifested, and what it means for academic staff, will be the topic of discussion and debate at the next conference hosted by the Harry Crowe Foundation. Academic Freedom in the Managed University: Conflict, Controversy, and Control will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Toronto, 26-27 February, 2016.
The conference will feature a keynote address from Dr. Thomas Docherty, Professor of English and Comparative Studies at Warwick University, and the author of Universities at War, described by the Times Higher Education Supplement as a, “cogent critique of authoritarianism within the academy and a stirring defence of universities as … places committed to debates that challenge the enforcement of ever-closer connections between the priorities of the university and those of the wealthy.”
A series of panel sessions will debate how academic freedom is affected by the erosion of collegial governance, the politics of austerity, attempts to measure faculty performance and productivity, the imposition of respectful workplace policies, and the increasingly precarious nature of academic labour.
Frank Furedi, University of Kent
Michele M. Moody Adams, Columbia University
Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University
Marc Spooner, University of Regina
Sandra Grey, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Alison Hearn, Western Ontario University
Peter McInnis, St. Francis Xavier University
Len Findlay, University of Saskatchewan
Sally Hunt, University and College Union, United Kingdom
Gary Rhoades, University of Arizona
Penni Stewart, York University
James L. Turk, Ryerson University
Registration and hotel information are available on-line at: crowefoundation.ca/registration/hcf-2016. As space is limited, early registration is encouraged. For further information, please contact David Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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