CAUT report vindicates Queen’s Professor Michael Mason (20 September 2012)

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) News Release; as posted on www.caut.ca.  See also:  Mike Norris, “Teachers group slams Queen’s treatment of professor,”   Kingston Whig Standard, 20 Sept. 2012; Mike Norris, “Report slams treatment of Queen’s prof accused of racism,” Sun News, 20 Sept. 2012; Jackie Vieira, “Committee Vindicates Queen’s Professor,” 98.3 Fly FM, 20 Sept. 2012; Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 Sept. 2012; Vincent Matak and Holly Tousignant, “Queen’s Criticized,” Queen’s Journal, 21 Sept. 2012; “Transparency Required” (Editorial), Queen’s Journal, 25 Sept. 2012; “Mason Responds to Report,” Queen’s Journal, 28 Sept. 2012; Adele Mercier, “Logical Fallacies” (Letter), Queen’s Journal, 28 Sept. 2012; Todd Pettigrew, “Dear students: please be careful before alleging racism,” Macleans On Campus, 28 Sept. 2012; Margaret Wente, “Politically Correct–a Mugging at Queen’s,” Globe & Mail, 30 Oct. 2012; James Bradshaw, “Queen’s professors demand apology from university for colleague accused of racist, sexist remarks,” Globe & Mail, 31 Oct. 2012; PSAC 901, Letter to the CAUT Investigators and Press Release (31 Oct. 2012); Sarah Boesveld, “The phantom censor: Professor ‘banned’ from his own class when out-of-context statements deemed racist and sexist,” National Post, 3 Nov. 2012; Claire Hoy, “Contrary views need not apply,” Orangeville Citizen, 8 Nov. 2012; “Open Letter to Michael Mason: We (Queen’s University) Apologize,” 19 Nov. 2012; James Bradshaw, “Professors sign letter criticizing Queen’s University,” Globe & Mail, 19 Nov. 2012; Sarah Boesveld, “Queen’s professors criticize university for its treatment of maligned history teacher,” National Post, 19 Nov. 2012; “Peter Hendra, “Former Prof Receives Letter of Apology,” Kingston Whig Standard, 20 Nov. 2012; Wei Chen interviews Paul Young, Ontario Morning, 26 Nov. 2012 (go to minute 12:30); Mark Jones, “Open Letter: Response to Principal Woolf re Apology to Michael Mason,” 27 Nov. 2012; Paul Young, “It is definitely about Academic Freedom,” 29 Nov. 2012.

Ottawa (September 20, 2012)

In a report issued today, a Canadian Association of University Teachers investigatory committee found that the Queen’s University administration violated the academic freedom of history professor Michael Mason and acted callously and irresponsibly in how it handled complaints with respect to his teaching.

The committee concluded that Mason “discharged his duties diligently and in keeping with both disciplinary conventions and professional standards.”

Among the committee’s recommendations were that the university issue a letter of apology to Mason and that the letter be placed in his file and published in the university newspaper. The committee also recommended that, to offset damage to Mason’s four-decade career as a historian, the Queen’s history department establish in his name a bursary of $4,000 per annum, to be awarded annually to an enrolled student of post-colonial history.

The university was also called upon to develop appropriate administrative policies and mechanisms to respond to student complaints.

“The report vindicates Prof. Mason and makes useful recommendations to remedy the situation,” said James L. Turk, executive director of CAUT. “We urge the Queen’s administration to implement the recommendations out of a sense of fairness to Prof. Mason and in order to prevent a similar situation befalling any other faculty member at Queen’s.”

Members of the investigatory committee were Prof. Bernie Hammond in the Department of Sociology and Social Justice and Peace Studies at King’s University College at Western University and Prof. Johannes Wolfart in the College of Humanities at Carleton University.

The full report can be downloaded here.

For more information:

James Turk, executive director (613) 277- 0488 (cell)

Angela Regnier, communications officer (613)726-5186 (o), 613-601-6304 (cell)

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