The University of Winnipeg condemns all antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism of any kind. We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In these difficult times of socio-political tensions, upholding our University of Winnipeg values of inclusivity, respect for one another, and in-depth critical inquiry is more important than ever.
A virtual event being planned by some faculty members has raised concerns within our community. This event includes discussion on the situation in Palestine, and many have expressed concerns it will be hurtful to some members of our community.
The University takes this matter very seriously and is engaging in dialogue with various groups on the issue. Universities are important spaces of critical inquiry and academic freedom. This means that the University does not prevent faculty from expressing their views through publications, lectures, or events such as this one.
As outlined in the UWFA Collective Agreement, “The credibility and acceptability of the principle of academic freedom depends in part upon the freedom being used in a manner consistent with the scholarly obligation to base research and teaching on an honest search for knowledge. Academic freedom implies a respect for the rights of others, a tolerance of other points of view and a duty to use that freedom in a responsible manner.” All academic events in any way associated with the University of Winnipeg are required to align with these principles. Academic freedom does not diminish the obligation on faculty to ensure that their conduct accords with University policy and other lawful limits on free expression.
In an increasingly polarized world, universities have a responsibility to be places where debate on difficult issues can be conducted. This debate must be civil, informed, and evidence-based. It is our duty to ensure that all perspectives, so long as they are lawful and inclusive, can be heard, and that those who disagree can safely engage in respectful debate.
This is an important time for all members of our University community to foster ethical, respectful engagement that aligns with our values based in diversity and inclusion, human rights, and respectful workplace and learning environments. Many are feeling deep pain, anger, and fear. We must ensure that every member of our community is treated with empathy and respect.
We call on everyone in our university community to join us in upholding human rights, caring for one another, and condemning all forms of hate.
Dr. Todd Mondor
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Pavlina Radia
Provost and Vice-President, Academic