Carleton’s academic staff association supports prof Gorelick’s decision to not sign gag order

(Ottawa – December 14, 2015) – The Carleton University Academic Staff Association has announced that Dr. Root Gorelick, a member of Carleton’s Board of Governors, will not sign a revised Statement of General Duties, Fiduciary Responsibilities, and Conflict of Interest. The revised statement places a lifetime ban on members’ ability to speak publicly about open and closed sessions of the board.  Such a ban is a violation of Dr. Gorelick’s academic freedom and disrespects core principles of openness and accountability appropriate to a public institution.

Signing the revised statement would force Dr. Gorelick to stop blogging about open sessions of the Board of Governors.  Dr.Gorelick has maintained the blog since 2013 in order to encourage transparency and good governance at Carleton.

“That ‘Statement’ flies in the face of academic freedom and is the antithesis of collegial and democratic governance. The ‘Statement’ is meant to stifle dissent, openness, accountability, and transparency, all of which should be fundamental at any public university.” said Dr. Gorelick.

Concerned about how the statement violates principles of transparency, collegial governance and academic freedom,  CUASA put forward a motion at the 79th Council Meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers  which unanimously passed.  The motion condemned the University’s actions and referred the matter to its Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee to initiate censure if the matter is not resolved.

“CUASA is committed to fighting for Dr. Gorelick’s academic freedom and fully supports his decision to not sign the revised ‘Statement’” said CUASA President Pum van Veldhoven.  “We call on the  Board of Governors to rescind the Statement and to renew their commitment to democratic governance and academic freedom at Carleton.”

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For more information please contact Caitlin Armstrong, CUASA Membership Services Officer at 613-520-2600 x 8381, or Angela Regnier, Communications Officer, CAUT 613-726-5186

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