Pledge to Respect the CAUT Censure of UofT

On April 22, 2021 the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) took the rare and serious decision to censure the University of Toronto. The CAUT Council voted 79-0 in favour of this censure. CAUT has determined that the University’s administration failed “to resolve concerns regarding academic freedom stemming from a hiring scandal,” which involves the decision not to hire Dr. Valentina Azarova to direct the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) in the Faculty of Law. CAUT concluded that a donor/judge had objected to the appointment of  Dr. Azarova because of  her academic scholarship on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories and that this had decisively influenced the University’s decision not to offer the position of the Director of IHRP to her. 

The CAUT censure calls on outside speakers and scholars not to accept appointments, speaking engagements, or distinctions and honours from the University of Toronto until satisfactory measures are taken by the administration. The list of event and speaker cancellations has grown quickly. Canadian and international media have reported on the censure, and Human Rights Watch has expressed reservations about the future of its own academic partnership with the University of Toronto, advising that “the university’s leadership should grapple with the unresolved concerns that the university has compromised its academic freedom” in this matter. Amnesty International has expressed its support for the CAUT censure and for that reason is pausing its relationship with the IHRP. So far, the words and deeds of the University’s senior leadership regarding CAUT’s censure raise doubts about their commitment to professional ethics, equity, human rights, transparency and anti-racism, as well as to academic freedom and collegial governance. For more information please see the Censure UofT website or the law school’s student newspaper coverage and document archive.  

Considering the present situation, the undersigned pledge to 1. uphold the censure and 2. help to bring awareness to the censure and encourage others to respect it until the conditions specified by CAUT are met, and, in particular, until the law school extends a genuine offer to Valentina Azarova to direct the IHRP.

Original signatories: 

Copyright note: NOAM CHOMSKY graphic is based on “Noam Chomsky portrait 2017” by Σ, used under CC BY SA 4.0 and is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0 by Censureutoronto. DAVID SUZUKI graphic based on “Press conference with the laureates of the 30th Right Livelihood Award 2009” by Holger Motzkau, used under CC BY SA 3.0 and is licensed under CC BY SA 3.0 by Censureutoronto. DIONNE BRAND graphic based on “Dionne Brand 2009” by Simon Fraser University – Communications & Marketing, used under CC BY 2.0. WOLE SOYINKA graphic based on “Wole Soyinka 2015 (cropped)” by Geraldo Magela/Agência Senado, used under CC BY 2.0.

Pledge your support for the CAUT censure of UofT!

Naomi Klein, Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies, Rutgers University

David Suzuki, Academic, Science Broadcaster, Environmental Activist 

Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Joel Bakan, Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia and author of The Corporation 

Audra Simpson, Professor, Columbia University, New York 

Mark Achbar, Canadian Filmmaker – Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation

Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London 

Saskia Sassen, Professor, Columbia University, New York 

Jeremy Waldron, University Professor and Professor of Law, New York University 

Seyla Behnabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy Emerita, Yale University Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Wendy Brown, Class of 1936 First Chair, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley  

Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley (Emeritus)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor, Columbia University; Honorary Doctorate, University of Toronto (2000)

Glen Coulthard, Yellowknives Dene & Associate Professor, First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program & Departments of Political Science, University of British Columbia 

Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research 

Amia Srinivasan, Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, University of Oxford

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor (emeritus) MIT, Laureate Professor U. of Arizona, U of T Honorary Doctorate (2000)

Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School, and Professor of History, Yale University

David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor, Stanford University

Bonnie Honig, Nancy Duke Lewis Professor, Political Science and Modern Culture and Media (MCM), Brown University 

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Professor of Political Science and Religious Studies, Crown Chair in Middle East Studies, Northwestern University 

Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair of U.S. History, University of California, Los Angeles 

Les Green, Professor of the Philosophy of Law, Pauline and Max Gordon Fellow and Professorial Fellow, University of Oxford 

Nicola Lacey, Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science 

Priyamvada Gopal, Professor, Faculty of English, Cambridge University 

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor, Earth and Environment Studies and American Studies, City University of New York 

Ayça Çubukçu, Associate Professor in Human Rights and Co-Director LSE Human Rights, London School of Economics and Political Science  

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Professor of American Studies and affiliate faculty at Wesleyan University 

Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman, Distinguished Service Professor, Department of English, University of Chicago

Lisa Lowe, Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies, Yale University

Vasuki Nesiah, Professor of Human Rights and International Law at the Gallatin School, New York University 

Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University 

Rajeev Bhargava, Honorary Fellow and Director, Parekh Institute of Indian Thought, CSDS, Delhi 

Michael Hardt, Professor of Literature, Duke University

Setsuko Thurlow, C.M., M.S.W. D.Litt. h.c., Co-recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and recipient of the Order of Canada and a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toronto (2019)  

Dionne Brand, poet, novelist essayist; Professor, School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph, U of T Honorary Doctorate (2018)

Sherene H. Razack, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, Department of Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles 

Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, NYU School of Law 

Aziz Rana, Richard and Lois Cole Professor of Law, Cornell Law School 

Mark McKenna, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School 

Andrew March, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts 

Asli Bali, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law 

John R Rickford, J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Humanities Dept of Linguistics, and by courtesy, Education, emeritus Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University 

Talal Asad, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Graduate Center, City University of New York 

Anthony Bogues, Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory, Brown University 

Sandra L. Babcock, Clinical Professor, International Human Rights Clinic, Cornell Law School 

Gina Dent, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz 

W. Andy Knight, FRSC, University of Alberta Distinguished Professor, Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Area Studies (2021-22), Yale University 

Susan Akram, Clinical Professor and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University, School of Law

Leti Volpp, Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University

Anita Sinha, Associate Professor of Law, Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic, American University Washington College of Law 

Noura Erakat, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. Enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA 

Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus, McGill University

Carl Elliott, Professor in the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Pediatrics, and affiliate faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota, as well as most recent Kluge Center Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History of the Library of Congress 

Nancy F. Olivieri, MD, MA, FRCP(C), Professor, Pediatrics, Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Theoretical Physicist, University of New Hampshire

Engin Isin, Queen Mary University of London, PhD, University of Toronto, 1990

Katherine McKittrick, Professor of Black Studies and Gender Studies at Queen’s University

Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Deepa Mehta, Doctor of Laws, Innis College, University of Toronto

François Crépeau, Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University, former Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Current member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union

Himani Bannerji, Professor Emerita, York University

Joseph Raz, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Oxford, Emeritus Professor, Columbia University, Professor, Kings College, London, Recipient, 2018 Tang Prize in the Rule of Law

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize Laureate, 1986, Doctor of Letters Arts – Literature, University of Toronto (1992)

Cécile Laborde, Nuffield Chair in Political Theory, University of Oxford

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, writer, scholar and musician

Ananya Roy, UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography, The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy, University of California, Los Angeles

Ali Kazimi, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Arts,
York University

Philip Pettit, Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Human Values, Princeton University

Colm O’Cinneide, Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law, University College London

Arundhati Roy, novelist, writer and political activist, winner of the Booker Prize in 1997

Will Kymlicka, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University

Sarah Schulman, novelist, screenwriter, playwright, nonfiction writer and AIDS historian

Daniel Butt, Associate Professor in Political Theory, University of Oxford

John Dugard, renowned legal academic who pioneered the human rights movement in South Africa. He has been director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, professor of international law at Leiden University, member of the UN International Law Commission, UN special rapporteur on human rights in occupied Palestine, and judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in The Hague

Pledge to respect the CAUT UofT Censure!