Robert Buckingham was fired as dean of the public health school -- and banned from campus -- at the University of Saskatchewan this week because he spoke out publicly against a controversial reorganization plan, CBC News reported. A statement from the university provost did not dispute the reason for the dismissal, saying: "It is not open to anyone to wear the hat of a leader and a non-leader simultaneously." The specific act that got him fired was releasing a statement called "The Silence of the Deans" that explored the many reasons to oppose the university administration's plans, and suggested more people should be speaking out.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers issued a statement backing Buckingham: "The outrageous firing of the University of Saskatchewan dean undermines the very basis of the university. What the president of the University of Saskatchewan has done is an embarrassment to the traditions and history of the University of Saskatchewan and it is an embarrassment to post-secondary education across Canada. It’s inexcusable. Buckingham should be reinstated immediately and U. of S. President Ilene Busch-Vishniac should issue a public apology. The Canadian Association of University Teachers, along with our member association, the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association, are going to do everything possible to see that this injustice is remedied."