Last Wednesday, Dr. Robert Buckingham, dean of the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Public Health, was fired and stripped of his tenure and benefits for speaking out against the school’s restructuring plan, TransformUs.
In a public letter, titled The Silence of the Deans, Buckingham alleged that university administration told senior university leaders not to “publicly disagree with the process or findings of TransformUs,” or tenure would be cut short.
The university claimed Buckingham acted in contravention of his contract in an official statement: “Leaders have opportunities to express personal opinions in leadership discussions. Once decisions are made, all leaders are expected to support the university’s directions.”
The controversial decision provoked concerns from academics and politicians across the country.
Later on Thursday, U of S announced that it will offer Buckingham a tenured academic position at the university, but not a leadership role within the School of Public Health.
“Academic freedom and tenure are sacrosanct at the University of Saskatchewan. This case, however, is not about academic freedom. Dr. Buckingham was removed from his executive director position for acting contrary to the expectations of his leadership role,” said U of S president Ilene Busch-Vishniac.
With files from CBC News