Russel Ogden now allowed to continue the research originally approved by Kwantlen’s research ethics board. [Photo: Erling Christensen]
CAUT’s inquiry in the case of criminologist Russel Ogden of Kwantlen Polytechnic University came to an end in January when a mutually agreeable settlement was reached by Ogden, the university and the Kwantlen faculty association.
CAUT set up a special committee of inquiry last June after the university notified Ogden that he was to stop his research on suicide and assisted suicide, even though the research had been approved by Kwantlen’s research ethics board. Ogden was told not to engage “in any illegal activity, including attending at an assisted death.” Ogden disputed the claim that his research involved illegal conduct.
Among other things, the settlement allows Ogden to undertake the research originally approved by the university’s research ethics board in 2005.
“As you might imagine, we are always delighted when the parties reach a settlement that resolves a problem that led CAUT to create an investigatory committee,” said CAUT executive director James Turk.
He said that while CAUT has concluded its inquiry, “Ogden’s case raised the larger issue of the relationship between academic freedom and the law,” adding that CAUT is establishing an advisory group to explore that issue and provide advice that will inform CAUT policy on academic freedom.