U of Saskatchewan fires tenured dean for speaking out against cuts

A reader writes, "Robert Buckingham, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan since 2009, was fired last Wednesday for critical comments about the university's restructuring plans. When he showed up for work Wednesday morning, two campus security guards escorted him off campus. The university not only fired him as dean, but also stripped Buckingham of his tenured faculty position. The termination letter signed by Provost and VP Academic Brett Fairbairn said that by speaking out against the school's restructuring plans, Buckingham had 'demonstrated egregious conduct and insubordination' and was in breach of contract."

The next day, university President Ilene Busch-Vishniak reversed the decision to revoke Buckingham's tenure, calling his dismissal "a blunder." But Canadian academics are very concerned. "I'm actually staggered," said Jim Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. "What happened at the University of Saskatchewan is anathema to what a university is and should be. It's unprecedented and, left unchecked, the impact of this could be really chilling."

At Arts Squared, "A Virtual Square for the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta" there is a call for Academics to sign on to an open letter to University of Saskatchewan Board Chair, Ms. Susan Milburn.

Canada’s Academics Invited to Sign On to Open Letter to University of Saskatchewan Board Chair, Ms. Susan Milburn