The MUNFA Executive Committee would like to alert our members to a recent release from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) raising very serious concerns about academic freedom at the Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT), in New Brunswick, following the dismissal of two teachers there.
Rod Cumberland, dismissed on June 20, was known as a public critic of glyphosate. A second MCFT teacher and former director, Gerald Redmond, was fired after commenting that Cumberland was likely terminated as a result of his outspokenness about the herbicide, and his noting that the college’s governing board had pressured him several times to sanction Cumberland over his statements on the issue.
This case underlines the importance of strong and enforceable academic freedom rights. While MUNFA members are protected by our Collective Agreement, many academics do not enjoy the same safeguards. MUNFA will keep our members informed about developments at MCFT as well as any solidarity actions. The best defense of academic freedom is to exercise it, and particularly in defense of others.
CAUT’s news release and letter to the Executive Director of MCFT can be accessed here: https://www.caut.ca/latest/2019/07/caut-condemns-dismissals-maritime-college-forest-technology