The ca­se for re­pea­ling Su­zu­ki’s ho­no­rary de­gree

La Jornada (Canada) - - ENGLISH SECTION -

an­ti-fos­sil-fuel views. He has sta­ted that “all fos­sil fuels are unet­hi­cal” and that ba­lan­cing eco­no­mic in­ter­ests against en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ests is li­ke ar­guing to per­pe­tua­te sla­very. Re­cently, when spea­king to a group of Cal­gary tea­chers, he said that up­wards of 80 per cent of fos­sil fuels should be left in the ground, an ac­tion that would de­vas­ta­te the fu­tu­re eco­no­mic pros­pe­rity of Al­ber­ta and Ca­na­da.

Ho­nou­ring such views with a me­ri­to­rious de­gree re­qui­res the ab­di­ca­tion of the va­lue sys­tem thought­fully set out in the uni­ver­sity’s stra­te­gic plan. This is not about free­dom of speech. If the uni­ver­sity ac­cepts the “stan­dard of ex­ce­llen­ce” set by Su­zu­ki, it should im­me­dia­tely ter­mi­na­te its pe­tro­leum en­gi­nee­ring pro­gram and re­fund all fees to cu­rrent stu­dents (with an apo­logy for of­fe­ring such an unet­hi­cal pro­gram), se­ver all ties with any per­son en­ga­ged in the fos­sil fuel in­dustry and ter­mi­na­te all fos­sil-fuel-re­la­ted re­search.

With views so an­tit­he­ti­cal to uni­ver­sity’s va­lue sys­tem, Su­zu­ki is in­ca­pa­ble of ho­nou­ring the spi­rit of the uni­ver­sity. Awar­ding this de­gree would sug­gest that the stra­te­gic plans so pains­ta­kingly de­ve­lo­ped by the se­na­te and the uni­ver­sity should be im­me­dia­tely re­pea­led and re­pla­ced with a link to Su­zu­ki’s foun­da­tion web­si­te.

Per­haps, the Fa­culty of Economics should al­so be shut down, be­cau­se, as sta­ted by one of its own pro­fes­sors of economics, An­drew Leach, Su­zu­ki “re­fers to economics as brain da­ma­ge.” Su­zu­ki’s ab­so­lu­tism is con­trary to an et­hi­cal ap­proach to tea­ching and lear­ning, which re­qui­res free and open in­quiry and which the uni­ver­sity claims to va­lue.

For all of the abo­ve reasons, the chan­ce­llor should exer­ci­se his dis­cre­tion, ta­ke gui­dan­ce from the stra­te­gic plan and re­fu­se to grant such a me­ri­to­rious award to such an un­worthy re­ci­pient. Li­ke­wi­se, the se­na­te and the pre­si­dent of the uni­ver­sity should pro­vi­de all ne­ces­sary sup­port to the chan­ce­llor in ma­king such a coura­geo­us de­ci­sion. -TROYMEDIA

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