McMaster Policies, Statements and Other Documents

Some of the key elements of McMaster’s policies on this issue are outlined in the Summary of Policy Framework: Freedom of Expression document with individual policies and statements listed below.

McMaster University Statement on Academic Freedom (SPS E1)

Statement on Academic Freedom – President Patrick Deane, March 20, 2017

Freedom of Expression, Protest and Dissent: Guidance for Event Organizers and Participants (June 8, 2018)

Policy on Student Groups (Recognition, Risk Assessment and Event Planning)

Policy on Discrimination and Harassment: Prevention & Response

Use of University Facilities for Non-Academic Purposes

Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose

Open Letter to Students – President Patrick Deane, August 2017

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Protest and Freedom of Expression

Annual Reports on Free Speech

Annual Report on Free Speech Policies, August 2019

Other Relevant Documents and Resources

Magna Charta Universitatum (signed by McMaster University in September 2013)

The Magna Charta Universitatum was signed on the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna and lays out a number of fundamental principles that are intended to guide universities as well as outline the basis of their essential mandate and purpose, including academic freedom, institutional autonomy and mobility. Although the original focus was to encourage and strengthen cooperation between European universities, the work of the MCU has expanded to include universities from across the globe.

Statement on Academic Freedom, Universities Canada, October 2011

Academic Freedom, Canadian Association of University Teachers, November 2011

International Association of Universities (IAU), Policy Statement on Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy and Social Responsibility, 1998

Universities Canada, Inclusive Excellence Principles, October 2017 (reaffirmed October 2018)

Walker, J. (2018). Hate Speech and Freedom of Expression: Legal Boundaries in Canada (Background Paper). Ottawa, Canada: Library of Parliament

Other Jurisdictions

The links below provide a sample of the approaches taken to the important issues of academic freedom and free speech in different parts of the world. Although other jurisdictions are subject to differing legal and social contexts, such statements provide further context and information regarding these important topics.

Association of American Universities (AAU) Presidents and Chancellors Reaffirm Commitment To Free Speech On Campus, April 2018

University of Chicago, Free Expression (known as the Chicago Principles)

Stanford University, Advancing Free Speech and Inclusion, November 2017

Oxford University Statement on the importance of Freedom of Speech

University of Cambridge Statement on Freedom of Speech, June 2016

University of Cape Town, Vice-Chancellor’s Statement, May 2017