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Nov. 23, 2017

Wilfrid Laurier University is moving forward with the plan outlined by Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy in her message to the Laurier community.

The following is an update on next steps.

Task Force

Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to freedom of speech and freedom of expression while respecting human rights legislation and the university’s values of diversity and inclusion and civil discourse. It is a topic that demands thoughtful discussion. To that end, the president is striking a task force to explore the issues, to seek input from all points of view within the Laurier community, to consult relevant scholarship on the topic, and to produce an open report detailing the task force’s findings and recommendations.

The task force on freedom of expression will provide its report to the university community for feedback, and will then present the report to the university Senate and the Board of Governors for initial discussion before it is submitted to Senate for approval.

The task force and the outcomes it will generate provide an opportunity for Laurier to show leadership on an issue that is faced by universities across Canada and by society in general.

Third-party fact-finding

Laurier has retained Rob Centa, a partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, to make a report to the president regarding: the Nov. 1, 2017 tutorial in Communication Studies 101, the concerns raised by a student or students in that tutorial, and a subsequent meeting involving a teaching assistant and Laurier faculty and staff. Centa will gather facts related to these events and provide recommendations to the president. This process will start next week and will be completed as soon as possible. Because of the personnel matters involved, the results of the review will be confidential. The university is committed to acting on the recommendations that come out of the report.

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