It has come to our attention that there have been calls for The University of Winnipeg to stop a faculty member from giving a political science lecture on March 3. For the reasons outlined below, the University is not intervening.
The University of Winnipeg, as an institution devoted to teaching, learning, and research, is committed to fostering an environment in which freedom exists to question and discuss issues using a scholarly and respectful approach. This commitment to academic freedom is essential to the pursuit of knowledge in the interest of the public good and is also established in the collective agreement between the University and its Faculty Association.
The University of Winnipeg equally embraces and champions inclusivity of all individuals, and a diversity of expressions and views. We are proud of our wonderfully diverse community, and unreservedly support all members including those in our 2SLGBTQ+ community. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are fundamental to the values of The University of Winnipeg, and to a healthy and inclusive society.
The University’s long-standing Mission statement reflects commitments to academic freedom, academic excellence, diversity, and inclusivity: In the pursuit of our mission, we are guided by the knowledge that our primary responsibility is to our students, to whom we strive to offer a community which appreciates, fosters, and promotes values of human dignity, equality, non-discrimination, and appreciation for diversity. We view both accessibility and excellence as important goals, and will endeavor to make the University as accessible as we can while maintaining high standards of equality in our academic programs. In the practice of scholarly inquiry through both teaching and research, we provide students with breadth and depth of knowledge, the skills to communicate effectively and to make informed decisions, an understanding of the ethical problems facing our society and an appreciation for the full range of human, aesthetic, and environmental values. The University of Winnipeg values academic freedom, self-governance, and community service.
These values are informed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion, thought, belief, opinion, and expression, peaceful assembly and association. These freedoms do not, however, protect violence or threats of violence, hate speech, discrimination, or harassment. Similarly, under our Respectful Working and Learning Environment Policy, all members of the University community have an obligation not to cause or participate in harassment or discriminatory behaviour or language. The University does not tolerate behaviour or language that undermines the safety of our richly diverse community, and the University will respond to any act that violates the law or our Policy.
The University of Winnipeg is committed to academic freedom, inclusivity, and diversity. Within this environment, differences of opinion and viewpoint will arise from time to time. All members of our community are encouraged to evaluate and debate ideas critically based on the academic evidence, and to do so in a way that respects the fundamental human rights for all persons.
Support is available to any member of our community in need of assistance. Students are encouraged to contact Counselling Services, and faculty and staff members can connect with the Employee Family Assistance Program.