CAUT report vindicates Queen's Professor Michael Mason

OTTAWA, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - 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.

Copies of the CAUT report are available online at

SOURCE: Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

For further 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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Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

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