Choosing your faculty dean - Macleans.ca
 

Choosing your faculty dean

Up to the government, or the university?


 

In a case regarding equality rights at the University of Guelph dating back in 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision defending the autonomy of Canadian universities in the name of academic freedom. Essentially–the government declined to stick its nose in university affairs.

But now the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is being asked to do just that. Will it follow the Supreme Court of Canada’s lead? So far, it doesn’t look that way.


 

Choosing your faculty dean

  1. In McKinney v U of Guelph the Supreme Court did rule that a university is not a government institution and therefore autonomous, meaning that the government does not interfere in it’s day to day operations. But this was for the sake of defining whether or not the Charter would apply to the complaint. This is not to say that a university has such autonomy that a government body, such as the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, should not decide a remedy between it and another party. In fact this is what a tribunal is supposed to do, the fact that the tribunal is a part of government doesn’t come into it.
    Further, to recognize the fact that the top jobs at most institutions are held by white males isn’t instigating a “witch hunt.” It’s just stating the obvious. Having a mechanism to possibly remedy this is only fair.