About thirty UdO professors denounce the treatment received by a colleague...

According to the collective letter signed by 34 Ud’O professors, two elements seem to be confused in this case, namely racism on campus, microaggressions and sometimes unconscious discrimination, as well as the role of university education, of professors. (es) and classrooms “which is to nurture reflection, develop critical thinking and allow everyone, regardless of their position, to have the right to speak.”

“I very rarely sign collective petitions and letters. But I signed this one without any reluctance, commented the professor of journalism, Marc-François Bernier. I would even have added a criticism of the lack of procedural fairness that led to the sanction against the professor. ”

“If every professor must in his teaching be sensitive to the realities of the different students in his class, the university nevertheless remains a place of debate, write in particular the professors in their letter. […] The classroom (physical or virtual) cannot become a place freed from the weight of history, ideas and their representations. It is therefore inevitable that certain readings, certain concepts, even certain words, run up against susceptibilities. The university is precisely the place to reflect on this reality. ”

“Isn’t it the university’s role to put these realities into perspective ?, they ask themselves. […] This fundamental mission would become difficult to say the least in a context of supervised academic freedom. […] It is important that university administrations, while participating in bringing to light and abolishing all forms of systemic racism, take care to protect the transmission of knowledge, the development of critical thinking and academic freedom. ”

“It is time for academic, cultural, scientific and media institutions, to name a few, to recover and help train new generations in the culture of civic debate rather than encourage their reflexes of censorship and exclusion ”, concludes Mr. Bernier.


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