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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2002

Court Dismisses Trent Appeal

A leave to appeal application by two Trent University professors, supported by CAUT, over the closure of two colleges has been turned down by the Supreme Court of Canada, ending a lengthy dispute over university governance. Ian McLachlan and Andrew Wernick sought leave to appeal a split decision of an Ontario Court last August that upheld the university board's power to close Catharine Parr Traill and Peter Robinson colleges despite opposition from the senate. "We are deeply disappointed," said CAUT executive director Jim Turk. "We had hoped the Supreme Court would have used this case to clarify the relative powers of boards and senates when the bodies disagree." He reaffirmed the association's determination to preserve academic staff's role in making decisions about educational policy and programs. "The quality of post-secondary education in Canada depends on academic bodies controlling, regulating and determining the educational policy of each institution."