OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - In their drive to attract new revenues by
collaborating with corporations, donors, and governments, Canadian
universities are entering into agreements that place unacceptable
limits on academic freedom and sacrifice fundamental academic
principles, according to a report released today by the Canadian
Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
Open for Business: On What Terms examines twelve research and program collaboration agreements between
universities, corporations, donors and governments to determine if
universities have protected their academic integrity.
"Our findings should raise alarm bells on campuses across the country,"
said CAUT executive director James Turk. "In the majority of the
agreements we reviewed, universities have agreed to terms that violate
basic academic values."
According to Turk, seven of the twelve agreements provide no specific
protection for academic freedom, and only one requires the disclosure
of conflicts of interest. Only five of the agreements give academic
staff the unrestricted right to publish their research findings and
just half provide that the university maintains control over academic
matters affecting staff and students.
"Universities have allowed private donor and corporate partners to take
on roles that should be played by academic staff," stated Turk. "They
have signed agreements that side-step traditional university
decision-making processes and undermine academic freedom."
The report concludes by recommending a set of guiding principles for
university collaborations to better protect academic integrity and the
"Collaborations can be beneficial to faculty, students, institutions,
and the public, but only if they are set up properly," Turk added.
"Universities owe it to the academic community and to the public to do
more to safeguard the independence and integrity of teaching and
The research and program collaborations examined in the report were:
Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In-Situ Energy (AICISE)
Centre for Oil Sands Innovation (COSI)
Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Scientists (CHORUS)
Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ)
Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability
Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU)
Vancouver Prostate Centre
Balsillie School of International Affairs
Munk School of Global Affairs
Partnership: University of Ontario Institute of Technology/Durham
College/Ontario Power Generation
Partnership: University of Toronto/Pierre Lassonde—Goldcorp Inc.
Partnership: Western University/Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Copies of the report are available on-line at www.caut.ca .
The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of
more than 68,000 academic and general staff at over 120 universities
and colleges across the country.
SOURCE: Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
For further information:
Angela Regnier, CAUT Communications Officer, (o) 613-726-5186, (c) 613-601-6304, (email) firstname.lastname@example.org