Canadian Faculty Union Drops Censure Threat Against 2 Universities

The Canadian Association of University Teachers had considered censuring the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University over concerns about their partnerships with a think tank founded by Jim Balsillie, a former chief executive of Research In Motion, the BlackBerry maker. Critics said the agreements may have allowed the think tank to improperly influence faculty hiring and research. But the union said it had reviewed a new agreement between the think tank and the universities, and had concluded that the agreement resolved those concerns.

Even as it backed down, the professors’ association still defended its original concerns, saying researchers need to be protected from influence from private donors.

“As universities increasingly rely on generous donors to fund important academic initiatives, it is vital that the academic integrity of the university be protected,” said James Turk, the association’s executive director, in a statement.

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