On the surface this is good news. Clearly an investigation is needed.

But, as someone who cares deeply about the law school & IHRP, I’m afraid @UofT’s proposed “impartial review” falls short.

A thread. 1/ thestar.com/opinion/star-c…
To begin, I echo the many concerns cited in @ShreeParadkar’s column:

David Robinson of @CAUT_ACPPU & @SamerMuscati formerly of IHRP both question the reviewer’s mandate. It’s not clear that key issues in the controversy will even be addressed. 2/
In @SeanFineGlobe & @FriesenJoe’s Globe column, David Robinson of @CAUT_ACPPU calls the review neither impartial nor independent.
James Turk of @RyersonCFE calls the review “deeply flawed” and has urged people not to participate. 3/
Professors @AnverEmon & Kent Roach both raised questions about whether academic freedom attaches to clinic directors. The Dean ignored these questions, while emphasizing the position is “non-academic staff.”

The review mandate doesn’t include this important issue. 4/
Given the many serious concerns raised by expert observers, I can’t see how this review will be successful in restoring much-needed trust among students and faculty.

But my concerns go beyond the comments already quoted in the Star and Globe. 5/
I am also concerned about the person @UofT chose to conduct the review.

Like @ProfLesGreen, I question the decision by administrators — especially those implicated in the events — to appoint a career administrator to investigate. 6/
In its announcement, @UofT highlights Bonnie Patterson’s experience as President of Trent.

But Patterson’s tenure at Trent was marked by two very controversial decisions, both of which cast doubt on her suitability for this role & undermine her ability to restore trust. 7/
First decision: As President of Trent, Bonnie Patterson was behind the closure of two out of five historic colleges at the university.

This decision was met with fierce backlash. Patterson and the Board proceeded in the face of formal opposition by Trent’s Faculty Senate. 8/
In fact, a group of Trent professors judicially reviewed the decision to close the two colleges, arguing this impinged upon educational policy and therefore required Faculty Senate approval under the Trent University Act. The case went up to the Ontario Court or Appeal. 9/
In Kulchyski v. Trent University, 2001 CanLII 11691 (ON CA), a 2-judge majority held the decision to close the two colleges did not engage educational policy and could proceed without Faculty Senate approval.

But Justice Robert Sharpe — former Dean of @UTLaw — dissented. 10/
Justice Sharpe held (in dissent) that the decision to close two colleges, initiated by Bonnie Patterson, would have significant implications for educational policy thereby requiring Faculty Senate approval. 11/
Justice Sharpe said the closure, initiated by Bonnie Patterson, “would destroy two of [Trent’s] five constituent distinct intellectual and social communities and would eliminate two of its five centres of learning and focal points of social and cultural activity.” 12/
In sum, Justice Sharpe, former Dean of @UTLaw, held (in dissent) that Bonnie Patterson’s most consequential decision as President of Trent was unlawful because it lacked faculty approval.

Now, @UofT is appointing Bonnie Patterson to investigate the current @UTLaw Dean?! 13/
Put differently, the person appointed to investigate governance concerns raised by faculty about @UTLaw’s Dean, was found (in dissent) by a former @UTLaw Dean, to have acted unlawfully in ignoring her own Faculty Senate.

How will this restore trust? 14/
The controversy generated by Bonnie Patterson’s governance at Trent can’t be underestimated.

Students seeking to “restore due process and democracy at Trent” physically occupied admin premises.

They were met with police in riot gear and strip searches. 15/
The scandal at @UTLaw goes beyond the IHRP. Nine faculty members publicly decried the Dean’s “high-handed” governance & “rule by fiat.”

Bonnie Patterson faced the same criticisms and even more backlash! How can she act as impartial investigator? How can she restore trust? 15/
Second decision:

After the Master of Peter Robinson College opposed Patterson’s plan to close the college, Patterson terminated his reappointment. This resulted in a controversy about — you guessed it — whether academic freedom extends to admin roles. 16/caut.ca/docs/default-s…
In a strange parallel to the IHRP scandal, Bonnie Patterson terminated Prof George Nader’s reappointment despite the search committee’s recommendation.

As in the IHRP scandal, the question arose whether non-faculty administrative positions benefit from academic freedom. 17/
Bonnie Patterson refused to participate in @CAUT_ACPPU’s investigation into her termination decision and whether it infringed Prof Nader’s academic freedom. 18/
CAUT concluded that Prof Nader enjoyed academic freedom and that Bonnie Patterson’s reprimand and decision not to reappoint him infringed his academic freedom. 19/
In response to the report finding her decision infringed academic freedom, Bonnie Patterson said @CAUT_ACPPU’s investigation was “inappropriate” and “in no way useful” and declined to comment. Three sentences. 20/
Recall that in the present scandal,
@UTLaw faculty inc Kent Roach & @AnverEmon asked for assurances that clinic directors benefit from academic freedom.

How is Bonnie Patterson, the subject of a report on this issue, suitable to *be* the investigator? 21/ thestar.com/opinion/star-c…
I’m afraid Bonnie Patterson, given her own prior controversies in overriding faculty dissent & impinging academic freedom of administrators, is simply not in a position to conduct a credible investigation that will restore the trust of the @UTLaw community in its governance. 22/
Given all of the above problems, it’s perhaps unsurprising that CAUT, representing 72,000 academic and general staff, is moving forward with a censure motion — its most extreme measure — notwithstanding the flawed “impartial review.” 23/ thestar.com/opinion/star-c…
END. 24/24

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More from @LouisCentury

26 Oct 19
This essential #elxn43 piece by @DrCherylT got me thinking about the connection between politeness and racism in Canada.

I’ve tried to distill some recent learning & reflections, informed by Robin DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility’. 1/12
The idea that a person who is polite is not racist, or that racism is somehow connected to politeness, is deeply entrenched.

We are hardwired to think that because we are ‘good people’, we are not racist. 2/12
Racism is understood as something committed by ‘bad people’ with ill intent.

Robin DiAngelo calls this the “good/bad binary”: the idea that racism is a question of good and bad people, and good people aren’t racist. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
13 Sep 19
Stop SOP has caused untold harm to our profession. But it has also been a rallying cry for EDI supporters.

I know we’re in dark times — but I hope the real legacy of @Stop_SOP will be to unwittingly promote *exactly* the kind of self-reflection that the SOP intended. 1/7
SOP was supposed to remind lawyers that systemic racism exists. @Stop_SOP did that in spades. 2/7
SOP was supposed to encourage lawyers to take action in opposing systemic racism, but it was @Stop_SOP that triggered a movement for racial equity in the legal profession (@DemandInclusion) and a meaningful public discourse about critical race issues (@JoshuaSealy). 3/7
Read 7 tweets
10 Apr 18
Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about “business-based” private refugee sponsorship at a meeting of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative in NYC. Very exciting to see Canadian refugee sponsorship spread globally. Can’t wait to share @GPLLP’s experience. 1/7 refugeesponsorship.org
It’s fascinating to think back to Summer 2015. @LifelineSyria had been launched, with the goal of resettling 1,000 Syrian refugees to Toronto. A goal that seems modest in retrospect, felt like a pipe dream at the time. The political climate / immigration rhetoric was tense. 2/7
Then on Sept 3/2015, the photo of Alan Kurdi on the beach changed everything. Within days @GPLLP, and so many others, took action. The firm committed to sponsor a Syrian family & match fundraising dollars up to $15k (for a total of $30k). 3/7
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