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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Alberta College of Art and Design must reinstate fired professor: CAUT

May 13, 2013

OTTAWA, May 13, 2013 /CNW/ – The Canadian Association of University
Teachers (CAUT) is joining with the Alberta College of Art and Design
Faculty Association (ACADFA) to challenge the firing of an Alberta
College of Art and Design professor following a controversial student
art performance.

“We find it unacceptable that an art college would fire a professor
because one of his student’s projects, while legal, was controversial,”
said James L. Turk, executive director of CAUT.  “Universities and
colleges should be places where free expression and creative
exploration is encouraged.”

Turk said that CAUT has retained legal counsel to represent ACADFA and
the professor. A grievance was filed Friday demanding that ACAD
reinstate the professor, compensate him for lost wages and benefits,
and formally apologize to him.

“Should ACAD refuse, we will ensure the matter can be taken to
arbitration,” said Turk.

Professor Gordon Ferguson, head of ACAD’s sculpture department, was
dismissed on May 6, 2013 following an investigation into a student’s
performance art project. For the project, the student killed a chicken
in College cafeteria, plucked it and dropped it into a pot as if
preparing to eat it.  In the letter of termination, the ACAD
administration says the incident was “prejudicial to ACAD’s business
and reputation.”

“The ACAD administration itself has done serious harm to its reputation
by firing Professor Ferguson,” Turk said. “Our organization will be
supporting Professor Ferguson to the fullest in this case. The college
should do the right thing by recognizing that it made a terrible error,
and it should reinstate him immediately with full compensation.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers represents 68,000
academic and general staff at over 120 universities and colleges across
Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)


Source: PR Newswire