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Canada

Probe finds B.C. university breached critical professor’s academic freedom

An investigation into the suspension of a British Columbia business professor who criticized his university has concluded the administration’s actions breached his academic freedom.

The committee of investigation, established by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, released its report Tuesday on the case involving Derek Pyne at Thompson Rivers University.

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The university in Kamloops, B.C., banned Pyne from campus in May 2018 and suspended him that July after he wrote about academics at the school paying to publish their work in deceptive journals that don’t require peer reviews.

The committee writes in its investigative report that the right of academics to criticize their administration and their institution is a widely recognized feature of academic freedom.

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However, it says Thompson Rivers failed to understand academic freedom beyond a “narrow application” to support faculty members’ freedom to pursue fruitful avenues of research and publishing.

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Neither the university nor Pyne, who returned to the school in January, immediately responded to requests for comment.

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