James Turk, leaving CAUT after 16 years as executive director, is joining Ryerson University’s school of journalism as a distinguished visiting professor, effective Sept. 1, 2014. Turk will organize a seminar series addressing questions and issues around freedom of expression in education, journalism, writing and publishing, law, research and science, and work with the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre to identify possible areas of research and opportunities for publication of a paper series. He will also develop a module on expressive freedom that can be delivered to classes from various programs throughout the university.
“James Turk is highly respected in the post-secondary sector and recognized as one of Canada’s leading champions of academic freedom,” said Gerd Hauck, dean of Ryerson’s faculty of communication and design, where the school of journalism is housed. “His outstanding scholarship on freedom of expression has benefitted the academy as a whole and we look forward to his ongoing contributions to this very important national dialogue as a distinguished visitor at Ryerson.”
Turk will complete his current term as executive director of CAUT on June 30, 2014 after serving in that capacity since 1998. Prior to accepting the position as executive director, he was executive assistant to the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and director of education for the Ontario Federation of Labour. He also was an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto for 19 years. He is currently an adjunct research professor at Carleton University’s Institute of Political Economy.
Turk is an accomplished writer and presenter and his most recent book, Academic Freedom in Conflict: The Struggle over Free Speech Rights in the University
, was published in 2014. In 2012, the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education gave him its Distinguished Member Award for his contributions to the study of higher education. In 2013, Turk received the Jay Newman Award for Academic Integrity from the University of Guelph Faculty Association. This year, he received the Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award for championing collegial governance from the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association.