by Jeremy Richards
Thoughtful people must not cede all power to politicians and business interests; we must make our voices heard across the full range of professional, social, and civic circles.
(p. 95: Karr, J.R., 2008, Protecting society from itself: Reconnecting ecology and economy, in Soskolne, C.L., ed., Sustaining Life on Earth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, p. 95-108)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Anonymity in the CIGI case

The National Post article "The academy vs. Jim Balsillie" describes the push-back from faculty against provisions in the $30 million donation by Jim Balsillie to the University of Waterloo for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), which would have allowed CIGI executives to influence hiring decisions and research directions.

Len Findlay, the author of a report into the affair by CAUT, is quoted as saying:
People with great integrity and credibility insisted on speaking off the record because they feared consequences. If you are not a 'team player' — that's one of the operating euphemisms — if you're not onside with the administration's vision of where the institution is going and how it should get there, then things can be made quite uncomfortable for you."
I think this echoes some of the concerns expressed on this blog about anonymous posting. I do think people need to be very careful when they stick their head above the parapet and offer opinions that don't conform to the administrative group-think. It is a very legitimate concern for anyone who doesn't have tenure (the majority of AASUA members). And even if you have tenure, this is a path that does not lead to a Chair or Dean's office, or god forbid, UHall!