Academic Freedom In These Times: Three Lessons From York University

Penni Stewart


Academic freedom faces formidable challenges in the current political and social climate, from external political forces as well as state pressures reshaping the university in the corporate-image. Three recent events at York University in Toronto relating to Palestine/Israel conflict demonstrate the fragility of academic freedom and freedom of expression. As the university is transformed by a competitive, corporate mentality, administrators concerned with their public image become more vulnerable to intimidation from the outside, in these cases pro Israel groups. Campus dissent is suppressed under the guise of seeking restraint. In these times academic staff must come forward to defend academic freedom.

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