Today, the University of Ottawa made public the final report issued by its Committee on Academic Freedom, which was chaired by former Supreme Court Justice, the Honourable Michel Bastarache (CC, QC).
The mandate of this committee, which was formed on March 30, 2021, by University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Frémont, aimed to assist the University in better fulfilling its mission of teaching, conducting research, and serving community members, both Anglophone and Francophone alike.
“This very high-quality report describes the fundamental importance that the University of Ottawa, like all universities, places on academic freedom, as well as the challenges involved in putting such freedom into practice every day. On behalf of the University of Ottawa, I would like to thank all the committee members, particularly Michel Bastarache, for the volume of work they undertook over the past few months,” said Jacques Frémont.
This report will serve as the cornerstone of a process: the University community must now take stock of the report’s scope, internalize its contents and recommendations, and discuss its effects and consequences.
“This report puts forth practical solutions and sets us on a path to further strengthen the culture of academic freedom, including freedom of expression, that is central to our academic life. We gladly acknowledge the report’s recommendations and we will act swiftly to promptly implement them,” said the president.
The next chapter in the process begins on November 22, when the report is submitted to the Senate of the University, the ideal setting for discussions on university governance.
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University of Ottawa