To the Editors:
Recently the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University suspended the promotions and tenure procedures of that University. This made it possible for the administration to fire three professors, Professor Saghir Ahmad, Professor Mordecai Briemberg, and Professor Louis Feldhammer, without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves against charges made against them or to have their case examined independently.
Faculty members in this province and in other parts of Canada should take notice of this act. We should recognize our direct interest in this matter. The promotions and tenure proceedings of a university are fundamental to the preservation of academic freedom. Academic freedom is among the freedoms vital to democratic society. We have a responsibility to the public as well as to the profession to uphold that principle. In not challenging this act, faculty members at Simon Fraser University have signally failed in their responsibility to the University, to their colleagues at large, and to the public.
This must not be treated as a precedent for the rest of us. Simon Fraser University is already under censure by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association and by the Canadian Political Science Association. We call upon our colleagues, upon students, upon other concerned members of the public to observe the restrictions placed upon Simon Fraser University by these acts of censure.
Michael M. Ames
Helga E. Johnson
R. D. MacDougall
R. J. Pokrant
Howard E. Boughey, Jr.
Department of Anthropology & Sociology
University of British Columbia