The New National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships Poisons the Canadian Academic Atmosphere
To All Canadian University Leaders:
On behalf of over one thousand Chinese Canadian faculty members across Canada, we, the Canadian Academy of Chinese Professors and the Canadian Association of Chinese Professors, urge you as the university leaders to strongly oppose the newly announced risk assessment process for the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships (the “Process”) and to take appropriate action to rectify. We believe it is politically motivated and we are deeply concerned about its potential negative and far- reaching consequences (Please see Globe and Mail, The new security research rules threaten universities’ ability to be open and inclusive
). The Process was developed without transparency and without consultation with research communities, especially those whose work will likely be impacted.
The Process will produce an anti-intellectual, anti-research climate whereby researchers will self-censor and distance themselves from many cutting-edge fields to avoid jumping through cumbersome bureaucratic hoops, as well as becoming subjects of prejudice. It will dull Canadian research and innovation and is detrimental to our community, university, and Canada.
The Process will reinforce biases against Canadian researchers with minority ethnic backgrounds, especially those with Chinese origin and connections. It will effectively be a sanction for racial profiling Chinese researchers as foreign agents. We fear the systemic discrimination that will be unleashed against many researchers, especially academics with Chinese backgrounds and anyone with professional connections with research institutions in China.
Canadian governments, funding agencies, universities, faculty associations, and civil rights organizations should take notice of the serious questions about the conduct of FBI and the Department of Justice in the US. There are grave concerns about how the US federal research security initiatives have affected Chinese American researchers, which have emerged from Dr. Anming Hu’s trial proceeding
. There has been growing protest among advocacy groups, researchers, and some university leaders about serious harm caused by such research security initiatives. MIT President Rafael Reif
and Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne
have set examples of university leadership standing to protect the rights of researchers and the integrity of universities.
We believe that the Process threatens the reputation of Canadian universities as dynamic, innovative, open and inclusive communities. We call on your action and support to fight for academic freedom for the future of Canadian academia and universities and to fight against systemic discrimination in science and engineering.
Thank you very much for your consideration and actions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Canadian Academy of Chinese Professors (CACP) Canadian Association of Chinese Professors (CACP)