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Wilfrid Laurier University encourages and protects freedom of expression, academic freedom and intellectually challenging discussions that include critical analysis and diversity of thought. At the same time, the university rejects and does not support discourse that involves hate, intolerance and intimidation.

Giving life to these principles is not a simple matter and requires thoughtful discussion.

To that end, Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy announced in November 2017 the formation of a task force to explore these issues.

The Task Force on Freedom of Expression will seek input from all points of view within the Laurier community, consult relevant scholarship and produce an open report detailing findings and recommendations. The task force is scheduled to be populated before the end of December 2017 and will begin meeting in January 2018. It is anticipated that it will conclude its work in March 2018.

The task force terms of reference are outlined below. For more information, contact lauriersecretariat@wlu.ca.

Terms of Reference

Mandate

To develop a statement on freedom of expression that aligns with the principles of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the mission, vision and values of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Report

The Task Force on Freedom of Expression will produce an open report recommending a statement on freedom of expression. The task force will identify various approaches to engage the broader Laurier community in providing meaningful input into this report. The task force will provide the report to the university community for feedback and will communicate the feedback when presenting the report to Senate for approval.

Timeline

The Task Force on Freedom of Expression will be populated before the end of December, will begin meeting in January 2018 and will conclude its work in March 2018. The task force report will be circulated to the university community for feedback prior to being presented to Senate for approval.

Membership (13)

  • Vice-President: Research and Acting Provost (Chair)
  • Vice-President: Students Affairs
  • Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Seven faculty and/or librarian members
    • Requirements:
      • At least one representative from each campus (Brantford and Waterloo)
      • At least three Faculties represented 
      • At least two Senators
      • A maximum of two part-time faculty/librarians
    • Method of selection:
      • Five elected by the University Faculty Council from among those nominated
      • Two selected by Task Force Chair from among those nominated
  • Three students (two WLUSU appointments, one GSA appointment; one shall be a student Senator)

Support

  • University Secretariat

Resources

  • Vice-President: Academic (Acting)
  • Human Resources representative
  • General Counsel
  • Executive Director, WLUFA
  • WLUSU representative
  • WLUGSA representative
  • Others as required by task force
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